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C.   F.   CLAY,  Manager. 

Hon&on:  FETTER  LANE,  E.C. 

«laafloto:  so,  WELLINGTON  STREET. 

leifljtg:    F.  A.  BROCKHAUS. 

#efo  Horit :  G.  P.  PUTNAM'S  SONS. 

BombatJ  anU  Calcutta  :  MACM1LLAN  AND  CO.,  Ltd. 

[All  Rights  reserved.] 

Se  republica  anglorum 

A     DISCOURSE     ON     THE 






L.    ALSTON,  Christ's  College 


F.    W.    MAITLAND,    LL.D. 



at  the  University  Press 


(Eam&ri&ge : 




Preface  (F.  W.  M.)     

Introduction  (L.  A.) 

'  To  the  Reader  (1583) 

A  Necessarie  Table  of  all  the 
contained  in  this  booke 

!  De  Republica  Anglorum   ... 

Appendix  A  (The  later  editions) 

Appendix  B   (Extracts  from  Harrison's  Description 

Appendix  C  (Certain  MSS.  readings) 

of  En$ 








Sir  Thomas  Smith's  discourse  on  the  Common- 
wealth of  England  is  a  famous  and  in  some  sort  a 
well-known  book.  No  one  would  think  of  writing 
about  the  England  of  Elizabeth's  day  without  pay- 
ing heed  to  what  was  written  about  that  matter  by 
her  learned  and  accomplished  Secretary  of  State. 
His  little  treatise  comprises  some  sentences  touching 
the  powers  of  Parliament  which  have  been  quoted  and 
transcribed  times  without  number,  and  which  will  be 
quoted  and  transcribed  so  long  as  men  take  any 
interest  in  the  history  of  the  English  constitution. 
But  if  in  this  sense  it  has  been  a  well-known  book, 
we  cannot  say  that  it  has  been  exactly  and  accurately 
known.  It  has  been  possible,  even  for  learned  men,  to 
mistake  a  Latin  translation  for  the  original  text,  and 
the  copies  of  the  English  text  which  have  been  in  the 
market  differ  materially  from  each  other.  Those  of 
the  oldest  editions  have  commanded  a  somewhat  high 
price,  while  those  of  later  editions  give  us  a  good  deal 
of  matter  which  we  cannot  with  any  confidence  ascribe 
to  the  pen  of  Sir  Thomas. 

a  5  vii 


It  seemed  then  that  the  time  had  come  when  a  new 
edition  would  be  welcome.  Also  it  seemed  fit  and 
proper  that  the  new  edition  should  proceed  from  the 
Press  of  that  University  of  which  Sir  Thomas  Smith 
was  in  his  day  one  of  the  most  illustrious  sons. 
Mr  Alston  has  kindly  taken  off  my  hands  a  piece  of 
work  that  I  was  unable  to  bring  to  an  end,  and,  though 
this  is  not  the  place  in  which  I  may  praise  him,  I  may 
even  here  be  allowed  to  say  that  he  has  spared  no  pains 
in  his  endeavour  to  set  before  the  public  a  good  text 
of  a  good  book. 

His  Introduction  leaves  me  nothing  to  do  save  to 
call  to  remembrance  the  main  facts  of  our  author's  life. 
It  will  not  be  forgotten  that  Sir  Thomas  found  a 
biographer  in  John  Strype,  nor  that  in  more  recent 
times  Professor  A.  F.  Pollard  has  written  an  excellent 
article  about  him  in  the  Dictionary  of  National  Biography. 
Mr  Mullinger  also  in  his  History  of  the  University  of 
Cambridge  has  spoken  at  some  length  of  Smith's 
academic  career.  This  being  so,  but  very  little  need 
here  be  said. 

Thomas  Smith  was  born  at  Saffron  Walden  in 
1 5 13.  In  1526  he  entered  Queens'  College,  Cam- 
bridge. At  the  beginning  of  1530  he  was  elected  a 
fellow  of  that  college,  being  then  B.A.  He  graduated 
M.A.  in  1533  and  shortly  afterwards  began  to  lecture 
on  Greek.  In  1538  he  became  public  orator  of  the 
University.  It  was  at  this  time  that  he  won  the 
honourable  place  that  he  holds  in  the  history  of  scholar- 


ship  by  endeavouring  in  concert  with  his  friend  John 
Cheke  to  introduce  the  '  Erasmian'  method  of  pro- 
nouncing the  Greek  language  ;  but  he  was  also  paying 
attention  to  Roman  law.  In  1 540  King  Henry  founded 
the  five  regius  professorships,  and  the  chair  of  civil  law 
was  given  to  Smith.  He  went  abroad  to  study  and 
became  a  doctor  in  law  of  the  University  of  Padua  ; 
also  he  saw  something  of  the  French  universities,  in 
which  Roman  jurisprudence  was  beginning  to  shake 
off"  its  medieval  garb.  As  in  the  case  of  scholarship, 
so  in  the  case  of  law,  he  was  on  the  side  of  the 
reformers,  and  he  returned  to  speak  with  enthusiasm 
to  a  Cambridge  audience  of  the  work  that  was  being 
done  by  Andrea  Alciato  and  Ulrich  Zasi.  In  religion 
also  he  was  with  the  reformers.  He  became  chancellor 
to  Goodrich,  bishop  of  Ely.  In  1 546  he  was  ordained 
priest,  and  he  held  the  rectory  of  Leverington  in  Cam- 
bridgeshire. Shortly  after  the  accession  of  Edward  VI. 
he  entered  public  life  and  the  service  of  the  Protector 
Somerset.  He  became  clerk  of  the  privy  council, 
steward  of  the  stannary  court,  a  master  of  the  court 
of  requests,  provost  of  Eton,  dean  of  Carlisle,  and 
in  1548  one  of  the  two  secretaries  of  state.  The 
fall  of  the  Protector,  to  whom  he  had  been  faithful, 
brought  some  trouble  upon  him.  He  was  deprived 
of  the  secretaryship  and  the  professorship.  Mary's 
accession  brought  further  trouble.  A  married  priest, 
he  had  to  resign  Eton  and  Carlisle,  but  from  any 
worse  fate  than  a  life  in  retirement  he  seems  to  have 



been  shielded  by  Stephen  Gardiner,  who,  it  is  said,  had 
reason  to  be  grateful  to  him  for  similar  services  per- 
formed in  King  Edward's  reign.  When  Mary  died, 
he  once  more  emerged.  He  was  at  once  placed  upon 
a  commission  '  for  the  consideration  of  things  necessary 
for  a  parliament' — the  momentous  parliament  of  1559, 
in  which,  notwithstanding  his  holy  orders,  he  repre- 
sented the  borough  of  Liverpool.  A  committee  of 
divines  was  to  meet  at  his  house  to  review  the  book 
of  common  prayer  ;  but  whether  that  committee  ever 
met  seems  still  to  be  an  open  question,  and  to  a 
degree  that  is  somewhat  surprising  Smith  appears 
during  the  rest  of  his  life  to  have  behaved  as  though 
he  had  never  been  ordained.  In  1562  he  was  sent 
as  Elizabeth's  ambassador  to  France  and  there  he 
remained  until  15616  during  a  stormy  time.  While 
in  France  he  wrote  the  little  treatise  that  is  here 
printed.  He  was  admitted  to  the  privy  council  in 
1 57 1  and  once  more  became  a  secretary  of  state  in 
1572.  He  represented  the  county  of  Essex  in  the 
parliament  of  that  year  and  became  chancellor  of  the 
order  of  the  garter.  His  health  failed  in  1576  and 
he  died  on  the  12th  of  August  1577. 

Altogether  it  is  a  remarkable  career.  Few  English- 
men have  held  so  many  offices  of  such  different  sorts. 
Among  his  contemporaries  his  reputation  for  learning 
stood  high.  Not  only  was  he  regarded  as  an  erudite 
*  Grecian,'  but  he  knew  something  of  Hebrew  and  the 
modern  tongues.     Not   only  was   he   regarded   as  an 


eminent  and  enlightened  { civilian,'  but  he  was  ac- 
counted a  master  of  history  and  mathematics  and  l  natural 
philosophy.'  The  chief  works  of  his  that  have  come 
down  to  us,  beside  the  book  on  the  Commonwealth 
of  England,  are  a  tract  on  the  pronunciation  of  Greek 
and  a  tract  on  the  reform  of  English  spelling,  both 
of  which  were  published  in  his  lifetime,  and  an  inter- 
esting dialogue,  printed  by  Strype,  on  the  question 
whether  it  were  well  that  Queen  Elizabeth  should 
marry  a  foreigner,  an  Englishman,  or  nobody.  We 
have  also  many  letters  on  affairs  of  state  which  proceed 
from  him.  His  c  Commonwealth  '  or  '  De  Republica  ' 
was  not  published  until  1583,  some  eighteen  years 
after  it  was  first  written  and  some  six  years  after  his 
death.  The  rapidity  with  which  new  editions  of  it  were 
issued  shews  that  it  was  widely  read,  and  we  may  say 
that  it  has  won  for  itself  a  place  among  our  constitu- 
tional classics.  But  at  this  point  I  may  resign  the  pen 
to  Mr  Alston. 

F.   W.    MAITLAND. 



Sir  Thomas  Smith  was  Elizabeth's  ambassador  in 
France  from  1562  to  1566,  and  it  was  in  this  period 
that  he  penned  what  was  intended  to  be  the  first  rough 
draft  of  his  De  Republica  Anglorum.  Perhaps  we  cannot 
do  better  than  begin  with  a  quotation  from  a  letter 
written  by  Smith  to  his  friend  Walter  Haddon.  It  is 
dated  the  6th  of  April  at  Bordeaux,  whither  the  English 
minister  had  followed  the  French  court  from  Toulouse, 
but  it  was  written  on  the  journey.  Queen  Catherine, 
we  may  observe  in  passing,  was  on  her  way  to  that 
famous  interview  at  Bayonne  of  which  our  historians 
tell  us  less  than  we  should  like  to  know.  Haddon  has 
asked  how  Smith  employs  his  time  ;  Smith,  in  a  Latin 
epistle,  which  is  printed  in  Haddon1 'sLucubrationes,  replies 
to  his  queries.  The  part  of  the  letter  which  refers  to 
our  book  may  be  rendered  as  follows.  "  And  because 
in  my  absence  I  feel  a  yearning  for  our  commonwealth,  I 
have  put  together  three  books  here  at  Toulouse  describing 
it,  taking  as  the  title  De  Republica  Anglorum  ;  and  in  these 
I  have  set  forth  almost  the  whole  of  its  form,  especially 
those  points  in  which  it  differs  from  the  others.  But 
it  differs  in  almost  all  ;  with  the  consequence  that  the 
work  has  grown  larger  than  I  expected.  I  have  written 
it  moreover  in  the  language  of  our  own  country,  in 
a  style  midway  between  the  historical  and  the  philoso- 
phical, giving  it  the  shape  in  which  I  imagined  that 
Aristotle  wrote    of  the   many   Greek    commonwealths 



books  which  are  no  longer  extant.  I  have  furnished 
fruitful  argument  for  those  who  would  debate  after  the 
fashion  of  philosophers  on  single  topics  and  raise  nice 
points  as  to  justice  and  injustice,  and  whether  what  is 
held  yonder  in  England  as  law  be  the  better,  or  what  is 
held  here  and  in  those  regions  which  are  administered 
in  accordance  with  the  Roman  Law.  For  all  things, 
almost,  are  different,  and  I  have  set  them  forth  on  both 
sides  in  rough  general  outline.  '  Why  not  send  the 
books  to  me  ? '  (you  say).  '  I  desire  eagerly  to  see 
what  you  have  done.'  They  still  lie  among  the  rough 
scrawls  of  my  note  books ;  when  they  have  been  fully 
written  out  and  given  to  the  world  in  book-form,  I  shall 
send  them  to  you.  For  you  were  accustomed  to  think  (as 
the  well-known  writer  puts  it1)  that  our  trifles  had  some 
value.  You  will  certainly  say,  if  I  mistake  not,  when 
you  read  them  through,  that  I  am  not  ill-versed  in  our 
country's  institutions.  But  it  needs  must  be  that  in 
this  brief  essay  there  should  be  gaps,  and  a  few  points 
not  filled  in,  because  I  brought  with  me  not  a  single 
book  and  had  no  men  of  law  to  consult.  Accordingly 
I  have  written  only  as  much  as  was  supplied  by  my 
memory,  for  the  time  being,  of  matters  I  had  seen  or 
read.  Those  parts  that  are  imperfect  I  shall  be  able  to 
complete  at  my  leisure  when  I  have  returned  home." 

The  work  itself  is  dated  with  scrupulous  exactitude, 
much  in  the  fashion  of  Thucydides,  in  the  last  chapter 
of  the  third  book.  The  author  tells  us  that  he  has  set 
forth  the  government  of  England  as  it  stands  "  at  this 
day  the  xxviij  of  March  Anno  1565  in  the  vij  yeare  of 
the  raigne  and  administration  thereof  by  the  most 
vertuous  and  noble  Queene  Elizabeth,  daughter  to  King 

1  Namque  tii  solebas  nostras  (ut  ille  ait)  esse  aliquid  putare  nugas.    Cf. 
Catull.  1.  3. 



Henrie  the  eight,  and  in  the  one  and  fifteeth  yeere  of 
mine  age,  when  I  was  ambassador  for  her  majestie  in 
the  court  of  Fraunce,  the  scepter  whereof  at  that  time 
the  noble  Prince  and  of  great  hope  Charles  Maximilian 
did  holde,  having  then  raigned  iiij  yeares."  We  shall 
see  grounds  for  believing  that  Smith  kept  to  his  pur- 
pose of  making  additions  to  his  treatise  later  on,  and  we 
might  therefore  be  tempted  to  conclude  that  this 
epilogue — the  British  Museum  MS.  cuts  it  off  as  a 
separate  chapter  headed  Epilogus — with  its  past  tenses, 
"was  ambassador,"  "did  holde,"  "having  then  raigned," 
is  one  of  these  later  additions.  But  the  similarity  of  the 
last  sentences  of  the  chapter  to  the  sentences  of  the 
letter  to  Haddon  makes  it  more  probable  that  the  two 
were  written  close  about  the  same  time ;  and  that  Smith 
is  sympathetically  putting  himself  in  the  place  of  the 
readers  to  whom  this  date  will  belong  to  the  past.  In 
describing  the  English  constitution,  he  tells  us,  he  has 
set  before  our  eyes  "  the  principall  pointes  wherein 
it  doth  differ  from  the  policie  or  government  at  this 
time  used  in  Fraunce,  Italie,  Spaine,  Germanie  and  all 
other  countries,  which  doe  followe  the  civill  lawe  of  the 
Romanes  compiled  by  Justinian  into  his  pandects  and 
code."  He  has  dealt  especially  with  the  "pointes 
wherein  the  one  differeth  from  the  other,  to  see  who 
hath  taken  the  righter,  truer,  and  more  commodious 
way  to  governe  the  people  aswell  in  warre  as  in  peace. 
This  will  be  no  illiberall  occupation  for  him  that  is 
a  Philosopher  and  hath  a  delight  in  disputing,  nor  un- 
profitable for  him  who  hath  to  do  and  hath  good  will  to 
serve  the  Prince  and  the  common  wealth  in  giving 
counsell  for  the  better  administration  thereof."  This 
explanation  is  very  similar  to  that  which  he  makes  to 
Haddon  in  his  letter  dated  less  than  a  fortnight  later. 



Sir  Thomas  Smith  died  on  the  12th  August,  1577, 
after  an  illness  that  had  lasted  over  a  year.  The  De 
Republica  was  not  published  till  1583,  when  it  was 
brought  out  by  Gregorie  Seton  (London)  with  a  number 
of  marginal  notes,  mostly  of  the  nature  of  corrections, 
and  not  always  couched  in  language  complimentary  to 
the  author  of  the  book.  For  these  notes  Smith  is 
apparently  not  responsible.  But  the  question  naturally 
arises,  had  Smith  in  any  way  polished,  or  added  to,  his 
draft  of  March  1565  ? 

Now  in  1577,  the  year  of  Smith's  death,  though 
presumably  before  the  month  of  his  death,  appeared 
the  first  edition  of  Holinshed's  Chronicle,  and  in  this  was 
incorporated  William  Harrison's  well-known  Description 
of  England.  Of  this  again  a  second  and  enlarged  edition 
appeared  in  1587,  four  years  after  the  publication  of  the 
De  Republica,  and  in  Harrison's  section  of  the  work  in 
this  second  edition  we  find  an  additional  chapter  dealing 
with  Parliament — a  chapter  which  is  a  condensation  and 
adaptation  of  certain  chapters  of  Smith's  book.  Parlia- 
mentary procedure  is  here  described,  as  Harrison  freely 
admits,  in  the  same  words  "  as  sir  Thomas  Smith  dooth 
deliver  and  set  them  downe,  whose  onelie  direction  I 
use,  and  almost  word  for  word  in  this  chapter,  requiting 
him  with  a  like  borowage  as  he  hath  used  toward  me  in 
his  discourse  of  the  sundrie  degrees  of  estates  in  the 
commonwealth  of  England,  which  (as  I  hope)  shall  be 
no  discredit  to  his  travell."  Here  is  a  confession,  but 
also  an  accusation.  And  we  turn  with  some  interest 
therefore  to  the  earlier  edition  of  Holinshed  to  see 
what  Harrison  has  had  to  say  about  the  "sundrie 
degrees  of  estates,"  and  whether  there  is  any  truth  in 
this  remarkably  courteous  and  friendly  charge  of 


The  similarity  of  the  two  sets  of  chapters  dealing 
with  the  nobility,  gentry,  yeomanry  etc.  is  sufficiently 
striking.  One  of  the  two  authors  has  "borrowed"  ;  and 
if  the  "borowage"  was  from  a  printed  work,  Smith  was 
evidently  the  debtor  in  the  transaction.  Can  it  however 
have  been  Harrison  who  saw  and  used  Smith's  manu- 
script ?  Possibly,  but  not  probably.  When  we  compare 
the  earlier  Holinshed  (1577),  the  later  Holinshed 
(1587),  and  Smith,  we  find  many  differences  of  a  kind 
that  point  to  Smith's  treatment  being  intermediate  in 
time  between  the  other  two.  For  though  he  has 
lifted  without  acknowledgment  the  substance  of  whole 
paragraphs  from  his  friend's  work,  he  has  done  so  with 
discretion  as  regards  rearrangement  of  the  matter  and 
also  occasional  literary  improvements.  And  then  when 
Harrison  comes  to  rewrite  his  book  for  the  later  edition 
he  re-borrows  not  a  few  of  these  improvements — taking 
over,  for  instance,  the  phrase  about  gentlemen  being 
made  "  good  cheap  "  in  England — and  he  uses  Smith's 
work  as  freely  as  Smith  has  used  his.  Moreover, 
he  never  hesitates  in  making  his  acknowledgments. 
Smith's  name  appears  more  than  once  in  the  enlarged 
chapters,  and  it  is  this  fact,  doubtless,  that  has  caused 
commentators  to  overlook  Harrison's  priority.  Had 
Harrison  stolen  secretly  in  his  first  edition  from  an 
unpublished  manuscript,  he  could  scarcely  have  penned 
that  genial  sentence  about  the  guilty  Smith,  nor  should 
we  expect  to  find  him  so  scrupulous  in  acknowledging 
his  later  indebtedness. 

If  Smith  plagiarised  from  the  published  Holinshed, 
and  not  from  some  unpublished  MS.,  it  must  necessarily 
have  been  in  the  last  few  months  of  his  life,  in  the  course 
of  his  prolonged  illness.  With  regard  to  this  last  illness, 
Strype  (who,  though  by  no  means  the  most  trustworthy 



of  biographers,  is  not  likely  to  have  wilfully  misstated 
what  he  has  read)  writes  as  follows  [Life  of  Smith,  2nd 
edit.  1820,  p.  148).  "But  he  could  not  be  idle, which 
he  said  was  contrary  to  his  nature  :  he  was  therefore 
minded  to  follow  his  study,  and  take  a  review  of  what 
he  had  formerly  done.  And  in  this  loathful  leisure,  as 
he  called  it,  among  other  occupations  and  pastimes,  he 
would  remember  the  days  of  his  youth,  and  look  back 
again  to  his  doings  then ;  and  now  being  old,  quasi 
repuerascere,  i.e.  hereby,  '  as  it  were  to  grow  a  child 
again.'  When  he  was  secretary  in  King  Edward's  days, 
he  wrote  a  book  of  the  value  of  Roman  coins  to  our 
English  standard,  upon  a  question  Cecil,  his  fellow 
Secretary,  had  moved  to  him,  viz.  what  was  the  ordinary 
wages  of  a  soldier  at  Rome.    This  book,  as  many  others 

which  he  wrote  in  his  youth,  he  had  now  lost He 

desired  therefore  the  Lord  Treasurer  to  see  for  it,  who 
he  thought  had  not  laid  it  up  so  negligently — This 
book,  as  it  seems,  the  Lord  Treasurer  found  out  among 
his  papers,  and  sent  it  to  the  Secretary,  according  to  his 
request ;  which  he  had  desired  to  see,  as  he  said  to  the 
said  Lord,  tanquam  filium  postliminio  redeuntem,  perditum 
quasi,  et  iterum  inventurn."  Strype  in  this  passage  is 
quoting  from  some  letter  or  letters  of  Smith,  and  though 
there  is  no  mention  here  of  the  De  Republican  we  gather 
that  Smith  was  revising  at  least  some  of  his  early 
writings.  Among  these  he  may  well  have  taken  in 
hand  the  book  with  which  we  are  here  concerned. 

There  is  also  a  little  internal  evidence  pointing  to 
composite  construction  and  revision  of  the  De  Republica. 
This  however  might  conceivably  be  put  down  to  the 
account  of  the  editorial  hand  that  prepared  the  work 
for  publication  after  Smith's  death.  But  if  so,  the 
editor  cannot  be  the  commentator  who  has  added  the 


marginal  notes,  for  the  corrective  marginalia  occur  in 
what  we  may  call  the  Harrison  chapters  as  well  as  else- 
where. Moreover  the  editor  must  have  been  a  man  of 
considerable  literary  ability  and  have  taken  unusual 
trouble  in  the  rearrangement.  For  the  revision  which 
I  suppose  to  have  been  undertaken  at  some  date  be- 
tween 1565  and  1583  seems  to  have  extended  beyond 
the  additional  chapters  (16  to  24  of  Book  I.)  which 
were  taken  over  from  Harrison.  Notice,  for  instance, 
in  Book  II.  chapter  2  the  words,  "  Yeomen  I  call  here 
as  before...,"  and  yet  there  is  no  other  reference  to 
yeomen  except  in  the  Harrison  chapters1. 

But  more  important  for  the  settlement  of  the 
question  of  Smith's  plagiarism  is  a  linguistic  detail. 
Smith  habitually  uses  "  Prince  "  to  stand  for  "  King  or 
Queen,"  possibly  because  he  is  writing  in  the  reign  of 
a  queen  regnant,  but  has  spent  the  first  forty  years  of 
his  life  in  the  service  of  Henry  VIII.  and  Edward,  and 
is  equally  familiar  with  the  name  "  King."  (Books 
published  in  the  latter  years  of  Victoria's  reign  frequently 
speak  of  the  Queen  and  her  powers  and  prerogatives  as 
if  England  had  always  been  and  always  would  be  under 
the  sway  of  a  woman.)  But  in  Book  I.  chapter  18 
we  are  told  that  the  "  King's  eldest  sonne  is  called  kolt 
i^o^rju  the  Prince,"  and  this  use  of  the  title  appears 

1  Just  possibly  however,  it  may  be  pointed  out  in  passing,  these 
chapters  took  the  place  of  some  earlier  chapters  which  have  been  com- 
pletely omitted.  For  the  third  chapter  of  Book  II.  opens  with  the 
sentence — "  The  Prince  whom  I  nowe  call  (as  I  have  often  before)  the 

Monarch    of    Englande,    King    or    Queene, "; — and    yet   the   word 

"monarch"  has  only  occurred  once  previously,  namely  in  Book  I. 
chapter  24;  the  word  "monarchy"  only  twice,  in  chapters  7  and 
9  ;  and  the  Greek  word  povapxia  but  once  also.  And  further,  if  we 
merely  strike  out  chapters  16  to  24  as  not  belonging  to  the  original 
text,  and  do  not  assume  any  earlier  chapters  to  have  stood  in  their  place, 
the  three  books  of  the  treatise  would  be  of  very  unequal  length,  viz.  18 
(instead  of  33)  pages,  53,  and  32. 



elsewhere  in  only  two  places, — in  another  sentence  of 
the  same  chapter,  and  once  in  chapter  16.  In  all  other 
cases,  even  within  the  Harrison  chapters,  the  other 
usage  prevails. 

We  may  notice  also  some  reasons  why  Smith,  while 
borrowing  freely  certain  paragraphs  of  Harrison,  may 
have  thought  well  to  leave  other  passages  untouched. 
Harrison  deals  at  some  length  with  the  merchants  of 
England,  whose  great  numbers  he  pathetically  laments 
as  the  cause  of  high  prices.  Smith,  who  had  written 
several  pamphlets  on  monetary  questions  and  had  per- 
haps some  claim  to  be  called  an  economist,  may  well 
have  disagreed  with  this  sweeping  statement.  Harrison 
mentions  the  chief  officers  of  state,  giving  their  order  of 
precedence,  and  Smith,  himself  twice  secretary  of  state, 
may  have  omitted  mention  of  them  on  grounds  of 
personal  modesty.  On  similar  grounds  we  may  account 
for  his  omission  of  Harrison's  description  of  the  clergy. 
Smith  was  in  holy  orders,  and  may  well  have  shrunk 
from  transcribing  the  eulogiums  on  the  learning — 
Greek,  Latin  and  Hebrew — of  the  English  clergy. 

Harrison  has  dealt  also  with  other  questions  of 
which  Smith  treats  elsewhere,  such  as  the  sub- 
divisions of  the  county  and  the  duties  of  sheriffs, 
justices,  and  constables,  but  all  this  matter  Smith  leaves 
severely  alone.  For  an  explanation  of  this,  however,  we 
need  not  go  further  than  the  words  of  Harrison  him- 
self, who  closes  his  treatment  of  the  shires  in  the  follow- 
ing characteristic  manner.  "And  this  much  have  I 
thought  good  to  set  downe  generallie  of  the  said 
counties  and  their  maner  of  governance,  although  not 
in  so  perfect  order  as  the  cause  requireth,  bicause  that 
of  all  the  rest  there  is  nothing  wherewith  I  am  lesse 
acquainted  than  with  our  temporall  regiment,  which  (to 


saie  truth)  smallie  concerneth  my  calling."  It  was 
hardly  from  an  author  of  this  stamp  that  Smith  would 
take  matter  of  legal  or  quasi-legal  character. 

One  curious  point  with  regard  to  the  assumed 
plagiarism  deserves  a  passing  mention.  At  the  end  of 
Harrison's  account  of  the  knights  of  the  garter  come 
the  words — "  and  the  rest  by  certeine  statutes  and  lawes 
amongst  themselves  be  taken  as  brethren  and  fellowes 
in  that  order,  to  the  number  of  six  and  twentie,  as 
I  find  in  a  certeine  treatise  written  of  the  same,  an 
example  whereof  I  have  here  inserted  word  for  word, 
as  it  was  delivered  unto  me,  beginning  after  this 
maner."  It  is  not  quite  clear  whether  this  refers  to 
some  formula  of  admission  to  the  order,  which  was  in- 
tended to  follow  immediately,  but  for  some  reason 
was  omitted,  or  whether  Harrison  is  acknowledging 
another  plagiarism  affecting  his  whole  description  of  the 
order.  In  either  case  it  is  a  little  strange  that  Smith, 
who  was  himself  chancellor  of  the  order  and  therefore 
presumably  knew  more  about  it  than  Harrison  (or 
Harrison's  predecessor,  if  there  was  one),  should  in 
this  also  (see  Book  I.  ch.  1 8)  have  made  use  of  Harrison. 
But  though  it  is  a  strange  fact,  and  not  to  be  lightly 
ignored,  it  is  hardly  sufficient  in  itself  to  upset  the 
amount  of  positive  evidence  in  favour  of  our  theory1. 

Let  us  now  look  into  the  subject-matter  of  the 
various  chapters  more  in  detail. 

Book  I.  begins  with  a  discussion  of  the  familiar 
sixfold  division  of  commonwealths  which  we  inherit  from 
Aristotle,  and  of  the  question,  what  constitutes  justice 
and  law?  (chapters  I — 6).  Incidentally  we  get  a  rough 
statement  of  what  is  meant  by  "  the  ruling  and  Sove- 

1  Some  additional  evidences  of  divergence  in  view  between  the  borrowed 
chapters  and  the  rest  of  the  book  are  noted  later  on. 



raigne  part "  of  a  commonwealth.  (The  abstract  term 
"sovereignty"  does  not  appear.)  "To  rule,"  (we  are 
told)  "is  understoode  to  have  the  highest  and  supreme 
authoritie  of  commaundement.  That  part  or  member 
of  the  common  wealth  is  saide  to  rule  which  doth  con- 
trowle,  correct,  and  direct  all  other  members  of  the 
common  wealth  "  (I.  i).  This  ruling  part  may  be  one 
man,  the  few,  or  the  many  ;  but  in  any  case  "  common 
wealthes  or  governements  are  not  most  commonly 
simple  but  mixt "  (I.  6)  ;  and  so  democratic,  aristo- 
cratic, and  monarchical  states  differ  from  one  another 
rather  like  men  of  "  cholericke,  sanguine,  phlegmatique, 
and  melancolique  "  temperaments,  of  which  we  seldom 
find  "  the  one  utterly  perfect  without  mixtion  of  the 
other."  How  then  is  our  author  going  to  treat  England  ? 
Is  it  to  be  called  predominantly  democratic,  aristocratic, 
or  monarchical  ? 

Smith  seems  to  have  hesitated.  Chapters  7  and  8 
deal  with  kingship  in  general,  and  chapter  9  with  "  the 
name  king  and  thadministration  of  England."  This 
comparatively  lengthy  treatment  of  monarchical  govern- 
ment, without  any  corresponding  attention  to  the  other 
forms,  points  to  its  being  the  most  important  for  the 
purpose  of  the  treatise  as  a  whole — or  in  other  words  to 
England  being  classed  as  a  monarchy.  In  chapter  9 
he  writes  as  follows.  "By  olde  and  auncient  histories 
that  I  have  red,  I  do  not  understand  that  our  nation  hath 
used  any  other  generall  authoritie  in  this  realme  neither 
Aristocraticall  nor  Democratically  but  onely  the  royall  and 
kingly  majestie  which  at  the  first  was  divided  into  many 
and  sundrie  kinges,  ech  absolutely  reigning  in  his 
countrie,  not  under  the  subjection  of  other,  till... at  the 
last  the  realme  of  England  grew  into  one  Monarchic" 
The  word  "  absolutely "  is  probably  not  intended  to 


cany  any  greater  value  than  the  succeeding  phrase  "  not 
under  the  subjection  of  other " ;  but  England  is  dis- 
tinctly called,  not  an  aristocracy,  nor  a  democracy,  but 
a  monarchy. 

Yet,  later  on,  in  one  of  the  Harrison  chapters,  we 
get  a  statement  from  which  the  most  natural  deduction 
(in  accordance  with  Smith's  own  statement  of  what 
constitutes  the  sovereign  part  of  a  state)  would  seem  to 
be  that  England  is  a  democracy.  Chapter  24  deals 
with  "the  fourth  sort  of  men  which  doe  not  rule." 
"  These  have  no  voice  nor  authoritie  in  our  common 
wealth,  and  no  account  is  made  of  them  but  onelie  to 
be  ruled,  not  to  rule  other,  and  yet  they  be  not  alto- 
gether neglected Wherefore  generally  to  speake  of 

the  common  wealth,  or  policie  of  Englande,  it  is 
governed,  administred,  and  manured  by  three  sortes  of 
persons,  the  Prince,  Monarch,  and  head  governer, 
which  is  called  the  King,   or   if  the  crowne  fall  to  a 

woman,  the  Queene  absolute The  gentlemen,  which 

be  divided  into  two  parts, — The  thirde  and  last 
sorte  of  persons  is  named  the  yeomanrie  ;  each  of  these 
hath  his  part  and  administration  in  judgementes,  cor- 
rections of  defaultes,  in  election  of  offices,  in  appointing 
and  collection  of  tributes  and  subsidies,  or  in  making 
lawes,  as  shall  appeare  hereafter  "  (I.  24).  Moreover, 
when  he  comes  to  use  the  word  "  monarch  "  in  definite 
relation  to  the  King  or  Queen  of  England  (Bk.  II.  c.  3) 
he  finds  it  necessary  to  draw  attention  to  the  fact  that 
he  is  doing  so,  as  if  this  were  in  some  degree  a  debate- 
able  point. 

Smith,  then,  would  seem  to  have  wavered  in  his 
treatment.  He  has  not  thought  the  question  of  sove- 
reignty out  to  its  logical  issues,  and  the  matter  which 
he   has   taken   from   Harrison   has   not    been    so    well 

b  xxiii 


assimilated  to  the  rest  of  the  essay  as  to  allow  of  the 
removal  of  all  inconsistencies. 

To  revert  to  the  earlier  chapters.  The  tenth  we 
notice  is  a  digression.  It  rules  out  of  account  what 
Seeley  would  call  the  "  inorganic  "  state  ;  for  as  regards 
such  a  government  as  that  of  the  Sultan  of  Turkey 
"  a  man  may  doubt  whether  his  administration  be  to  be 
accompted  a  common  wealth  or  a  kingdome,  or  rather 
to  be  reputed  onely  as  one  that  hath  under  him  an 
infinite  number  of  slaves  or  bondmen  among  whom 
there  is  no  right,  law  nor  common  wealth." 

In  the  eleventh,  twelfth  and  thirteenth  chapters  we 
get  an  adumbration  of  the  probable  development  of 
political  institutions,  beginning  with  the  monarchical 
household  and  closing  with  the  great  democratic  state. 
There  is  a  natural  progress,  Smith  thinks,  from  patri- 
archal kingship  in  the  small  community,  through  an 
intermediate  aristocratic  constitution,  to  the  democratic 
government  which  is  adapted  to  the  community  which 
has  outgrown  less  mature  forms  of  administration.  But 
none  of  these,  he  goes  on  to  point  out  in  chapter  15,  is 
necessarily  suited  to  all  stages  in  national  character. 
Democratic  institutions  best  fit  one  people,  monarchical 
institutions  another.  And  "  when  to  ech  partie  or 
espece  and  kinde  of  the  people  that  is  applied  which 
best  agreeth  like  a  garment  to  the  bodie  or  shoe  to  the 
foote,  then  the  bodie  politique  is  in  quiet,  and  findeth 
ease,  pleasure  and  profit." 

Down  to  this  point  everything  that  Smith  has 
written  has  been  of  the  most  general  introductory 
character,  with  the  exception  of  the  single  chapter  on 
the  English  king.  Now  comes  a  completely  new  be- 
ginning. "To  make  all  thinges  yet  cleare  before,  as  we 
shal  go,  there  ariseth  another  division  of  the  partes  of 


the  common  wealth.  For  it  is  not  -nough  to  say  that 
it  consisteth  of  a  multitude  of  houses  and  families  which 
make  stretes  and  villages,  and  the  multitude  of  the  stretes 
and  villages  make  townes,  and  the  multitude  of  townes 
the  realme,  and  that  freemen  be  considered  only  in  this 
behalf.... This  (as  I  sayde)  is  not  enough.  But  the 
division  of  these  which  be  participant  of  the  common 
wealth  is  one  way  of  them  that  beare  office,  the  other 
of  them  that  beare  none  :  the  first  are  called  magis- 
trates, the  second  private  men"  (I.  16).  This  intro- 
duces the  interesting  Harrison  chapters,  from  I.  16  to 
the  end  of  Book  I.  As  these  presumably  do  not 
belong  to  the  original  plan  of  the  work  we  pass  direct 
to  the  second  book. 

Book  II.  begins  with  the  famous  passage  dealing 
with  Parliament  and  the  authority  thereof  (II.  i)  ;  an 
account  of  the  forms  observed  by  Parliament  (II.  2)  ; 
and  a  summary  statement  of  the  powers  of  the  Crown 
(II.  3)..  Then  follows  an  attempt  to  classify  the  forms 
of  political  activity  with  which  a  treatise  on  the  consti- 
stution  should  deal.  "  Common  wealthes  and  govern- 
mentes  "  (we  are  told)  "  be  most  occupyed,  and  be  most 
diverse  in  the  fashion  of  five  thinges  :  in  making  of 
battell  and  peace,  or  truce  with  forraine  nations  :  in 
providing  of  mony  for  the  maintenance  of  themselves 
within  themselves,  and  defence  of  themselves  against 
their  enemies  :  in  choosing  and  election  of  the  chiefe 
officers  and  magistrates  :  and  fiftly  in  the  administration 
of  justice.  The  firste  and  thirde  we  have  shewed  is 
doone  by  the  prince  in  parliament.  The  seconde  and 
fourth  by  the  prince  himselfe.  The  fift  remaineth  to 
be  declared "  (II.  4).  The  remainder  of  the  treatise, 
from  this  chapter  to  the  end  of  Book  III.  (71  pages 
out  of  119,  or,  omitting  the  Harrison  chapters,  7 1  pages 

b  2  xxv 


out  of  104),  Smith  devotes  to  his  main  topic,  which  is, 
not  the  "  constitution "  as  ordinarily  understood  by 
students  of  political  science,  but  rather  that  which  is 
usually  treated  under  the  heading  of  Justice  and 

The  De  Republica  is  intended  as  a  pioneer  treatise 
in  Comparative  Politics,  and  ends  with  a  call  to  the 
study  of  the  new  subject.  But  the  limits  and  bound- 
aries of  the  study  are  not  yet  clearly  defined  ;  and  we 
need  not  be  surprised  therefore  that  Smith  should 
waver  in  his  views  as  to  what  should  and  what  should 
not  be  included  within  it.  One  fact,  however,  stands 
out  clearly.  The  "  constitution  "  does  not  for  Smith 
consist  of  the  same  elements  as  for  Walter  Bagehot  or 
his  imitators,  and  his  work  therefore  is  not  felt  by  him 
as  the  forerunner  of  such  treatises  as  theirs.  For 
Smith  the  framework  of  a  commonwealth  consists 
almost  entirely  of  its  courts,  its  judicial  system,  and  its 
methods  of  police. 

Had  his  subject-matter  been  the  same  as  that  of 
Bagehot's  English  Constitution,  the  form  and  balance  of 
the  essay  would  necessarily  have  been  very  different.  No 
writer  dealing  with  the  "  constitution  "  of  Elizabethan 
England,  in  the  ordinary  sense  of  that  word,  could 
have  ignored  the  powers  and  duties  of  the  great  officers 
of  state — least  of  all  a  writer  who  had  himself,  in  two 
reigns,  held  the  high  position  of  Principal  Secretary  of 
State.  "  The  period  of  the  Tudors  and  the  early 
Stewarts  was,"  as  Dr  Prothero  says  (Statutes  and  Consti- 
tutional Documents,  Introd.  p.  ci.),  "the  'period  of 
government  by  Council.' "  Yet  the  Privy  Council 
receives  only  the  briefest  of  passing  mentions  (in  II.  3, 
— where  it  is  treated  as  an  appendage  of  the  Prince). 
But  the  Star  Chamber,  which  is  practically  the  same 


body  in  its  judicial  aspect,  is  described  at  considerable 
length  (III.  4).  The  relations  of  church  and  state  were 
too  prominent  a  question  in  Smith's  time,  and  convo- 
cation was  still  a  body  of  too  great  constitutional 
importance,  for  them  to  be  ignored  (however  cautiously 
they  might  need  to  be  handled)  in  an  Elizabethan 
treatise  on  the  constitution.  Yet  they  are  passed  over 
without  a  mention  ;  while  the  ecclesiastical  courts  are 
given  the  greater  part  of  a  chapter  (III.  9)  and  their 
relation  to  the  Crown  is  treated  with  simple  directness. 

To  Smith,  then,  the  constitution  of  a  commonwealth 
consists  primarily  of  its  courts  and  its  various  forms  of 
law — martial,  ecclesiastical,  and  general.  Nor  is  his 
book,  though  the  treatment  is  intended  to  be  compara- 
tive, greatly  concerned  with  the  contrast  between  "  con- 
stitutional "  England  and  "  absolute "  France,  as  we 
should  expect  if  he  were  mainly  interested  in  such 
questions  as  that  of  royal  and  parliamentary  sovereignty. 
The  regularly  recurring  contrast  is  that  between 
England  on  the  one  hand  and,  on  the  other,  those 
countries  which  "  doe  followe  the  civill  Law  of  the 
Romanes  compiled  by  Justinian  into  his  pandects  and 
code  "  (III.  9).  This  is  the  comparison  which  is  fore- 
shadowed in  the  letter  to  Haddon  ("  problemata  facere 
...utrum  sit  melius,  id  quod  isthic  teneatur  in  Anglia 
pro  lege,  an  quod  hie,  et  in  illis  provinciis,  quae  Romano 
iure  reguntur")  and  appears  in  almost  every  chapter 
of  the  third  book. 

Why  then  does  he  devote  those  three  lengthy 
chapters  to  the  Prince  and  the  Parliament  ?  He  does 
so  because  no  account  of  the  judicial  system  would  be 
complete  without  them.  The  Prince  is  the  head  of 
that  system  ;  he  "  giveth  all  the  chiefe  and  highest 
offices  or  magistracies  of  the  realme,  be  it  of  judgement 



or  dignitie,  temporall  or  spirituall  "  ;  "  all  writtes,  exe- 
cutions and  commaundementes  be  done  in  the  princes 
name  "  ;  and  in  time  of  war  and  during  insurrections 
he  has  a  certain  absolute  power  called  "marciall  lawe"; 
while  the  Parliament  (King,  Lords  and  Commons)  is 
itself  the  "  highest  and  most  authenticall  court  of 
Englande  " — not  of  course  because  of  any  jurisdiction 
that  the  upper  house  may  exercise  as  a  court  of  error 
(a  jurisdiction  which  was  hardly  patent  in  Elizabeth's 
day) — nor  yet  because  of  impeachments,  for  impeach- 
ments belong,  not  to  Elizabethan  times,  but  to  the 
past  and  to  the  future. 

That  word  "  court "  comes  to  our  modern  ears 
as  a  mere  archaism  when  it  is  applied  to  Parliament. 
But  to  Smith  the  application  seems  a  natural  usage, 
expressive  of  a  still  living  fact.  He  does  not  cut 
apart  the  legislative,  judicial,  and  executive  func- 
tionSj  and  endeavour  to  assign  each  _to_  a  particular 
element_in_the  constitution.  Rather  he  tends  to  blur 
together  the  first  two,  and  while  of  course  clearly 
understanding  the  great  practical  difference  between 
statutes  and  the  sentences  of  lower  courts,  to  treat  them 
as  being,  for  theoretical  purposes,  members  of  the 
same  group.  Both  are  the  offspring  of  "courts";  and 
though  Parliament  is  the  greatest  among  these,  and  has 
many  functions  which  the  others  have  not,  it  is  not 
therefore  an  element  in  the  constitution  which  is  sui 

Though  we  are  all  familiar  with  the  presence  of  a 
court,  nominally  identical  with  the  House  of  Lords,  as 
the  supreme  court  of  appeal,  we  have  come,  with  the 
development  of  political  theory,  to  feel  that  the  quasi- 
judicial  functions  of  the  full  Parliament  of  King,  Lords 
and  Commons  ("  legitimating  bastards,  giving  forms  of 


succession  to  the  crown,  giving  most  free  pardons  and 
absolutions,  restoring  in  blood  and  name  as  the  highest 
court,"  etc.)  are  incongruous  excrescences,  historical  out- 
growths that  can  best  be  excused  by  referring  to  our 
non-logical  British  methods.  When  the  modern  his- 
torian reminds  us,  for  instance,  that  a  bill  of  attainder  is 
legislative  in  form  but  judicial  in  fact,  we  feel  at  once,  as 
we  read  such  a  statement,  that  Parliament  in  passing  bills 
of  attainder  would  be  encroaching  on  an  alien  sphere  of 
activity.  But  to  Smith  Parliament  is  primarily  a  court, 
and  if  dealing  with  such  bills  is  not  its  normal  or  most 
distinctive  function,  it  is  at  least  a  function  of  prime  im- 
portance for  his  particular  purpose.  "  This  is  the  order 
and  forme,"  he  says,  summing  up  the  chapter,  "  of  the 
highest  and  most  authenticall  court  of  Englande,  by 
vertue  whereof  all  those  things  be  established  whereof 
I  spake  before,  and  no  other  meanes  accounted  vailable 
to  make  any  new  forfaiture  of  life,  member,  or  landes 
of  any  English  man,  where  there  was  no  lawe  ordayned 
for  it  before." 

But  has  not  Smith  begun  by  declaring  that  "the 
most  high  and  absolute  power  of  the  realme  of  Englande 
consisteth  in  the  Parliament  ? "  And  does  not  this 
statement  place  Parliament  on  a  totally  different  level 
from  all  other  constitutional  bodies,  and  in  fact  imply 
the  existence  of  parliamentary  "  sovereignty  "  ? 

Such  is  indeed  the  traditional  interpretation.  And 
writers  on  constitutional  history  have  found  herein 
Smith's  chief  claim  to  a  place  in  the  history  of  thought. 
To  illustrate  the  current  view  it  will  be  sufficient  to 
quote  from  that  well-known  History  of  the  Science  of 
Politics  which  we  owe  to  the  pen  of  Sir  Frederick 
Pollock.  "  In  the  De  Republica  Anglorum  or  English 
Commonwealth   of  Sir  Thomas    Smith,   first    published 



after  the  author's  death  in  1583,  we  find  something 
much  more  like  a  forerunner  of  Hobbes.  Indeed,  so 
clear  and  precise  are  Smith's  chapters  on  Sovereignty 
that  one  is  tempted  to  think  he  must  somehow  have 
had  knowledge  of  Bodin's  work.  At  the  outset  he 
defines  political  supremacy  in  a  manner  by  no  means 
unlike  Bodin's.  When  he  comes  to  English  institu- 
tions in  particular,  he  states  the  omnipotence  of  Parlia- 
ment in  the  most  formal  manner,  and  so  far  as  I  know 
for  the  first  time,  as  if  on  purpose  to  contradict  Bodin's 
argument  that  the  monarchy  of  England  is  really 
absolute  "  (p.  54).  And  in  discussing  Locke,  a  little 
further  on,  the  same  author  says  that  "  he  is  nowhere 
so  precise  on  the  supreme  authority  of  Parliament... as 
Sir  Thomas  Smith  a  century  before  him  "  (p.  74). 

Yet  in  spite  of  the  consensus  of  authority  on 
the  point  there  is  room  for  considerable  doubt  as  to 
whether  this  view  of  Smith's  position  is  the  correct 
view.  Whatever  may  be  logically  deducible  from 
the  facts  stated  in  the  first  four  chapters  of  Book  II., 
it  is  questionable  whether  Smith  had  at  all  firmly 
gripped  the  ideas  underlying  the  modern  doctrine 
of  sovereignty.  Let  us  look  a  little  more  closely 
at  the  wording  of  these  chapters.  But  notice  first 
the  frequent  references  to  the  contrasted  require- 
ments of  war  and  peace,  e.g.  in  the  last  chapter  of 
the  treatise — "to  see  who  hath  taken  the  righter,  truer, 
and  more  commodious  way  to  governe  the  people  aswell 
in  warre  as  in  peace."  Now  in  Book  II.  chapter  1, — 
the  critical  chapter  on  Parliament, — Smith  goes  on, 
immediately  after  the  downright  statement  so  often 
quoted,  to  add  the  following  sentence,  which,  rightly 
read,  is  a  distinct  qualification  of  that  which  precedes. 
"  For  as  in  warre  where  the  king  himselfe  in  person, 



the  nobilitie,  the  rest  of  the  gentilitie,  and  the  yeomanrie 
are,  is  the  force  and  power  of  Englande  :  so  in  peace 
and  consultation  where  the  Prince  is  to  give  life,  and 
the  last  and  highest  commaundement,  the  Baronie...the 
knightes...the  bishoppes...bee  present  to  advertise, 
consult,  and  shew  what  is  good  and  necessarie  for  the 
common  wealth.... That  is  the  Princes  and  whole  realmes 
deede."  The  whole  power  of  the  realm  is  therefore 
present  either  when  the  king  is  at  the  head  of  his  army 
or  when  the  king  is  present  in  parliament.  A  parlia- 
ment, like  the  army  or  the  Twelve  Men,  comes 
together  for  special  purposes  and  disappears  again. 
Either  parliament  or  army  (the  king  in  both  cases 
being  included)  may  be  described  as  the  "  power  "  of 
England  ;  and  the  decisions  of  all  three — the  prince  in 
the  army,  the  parliament,  and  the  Twelve  Men — are 
alike  "  absolute  " — that  is,  not  subject  to  appeal. 

Let  us  look  at  Smith's  use  of  that  word  "absolute" 
a  little  closely.  It  is  a  word  that  comes  very  frequently 
from  his  pen.  Aristotle,  he  says,  treats  of  the  division 
of  commonwealths  "most  absolutely  and  methodically" 
(I.  8).  In  Book  I.  chapter  6  we  get  a  division  "simple, 
pure  and  absolute."  In  I.  16  "an  absolute  Queen  or 
an  absolute  Dutches  "  appears  for  our  "Queen  regnant" 
or  "  Duchess  in  her  own  right."  In  England  the  royal 
and  kingly  majesty  was  at  the  first  "divided  into  many 
and  sundrie  kinges,  ech  absolutely  reigning  in  his  coun- 
tries, not  under  the  subjection  of  other"  (I.  9).  "The 
Prince... hath  absolutelie  in  his  power  the  authoritie 
of  warre  and  peace  "  (II.  3),  and  his  lieutenant  may 
have  "his  royall  and  absolute  power  for  that  time" 
(I.  18).     "In  warre  time,  and  in  the  field  the  Prince 

hath  also  absolute  power,  so  that  his  worde  is  a  law 

This  absolute  power  is  called  marciall  lawe — The  prince 



useth  also  absolute  power  in  crying  and  decreeing  the 
mony  of  the  realme  by  his  proclamation  onely"  (II.  3). 

But  the  important  chapters  for  our  purpose  are  II.  5 
and  II.  8.  "By  order  and  usage  of  Englande  there  is 
three  wayes  and  maners,  whereby  absolute  and  definite 
judgement  is  given,  by  parliament  which  is  the  highest 
and  most  absolute,  by  battle,  and  by  the  great  assise  " 
(II.  5). ^Cu  The  two  first  judgementes  be  abs_olute 
supreme  anjLwjthojil^p^eale_^nd_so  is  also  the  judge- 
ment by_die_greg^assise  "  (II.  8).  "Absolute  "there- 
tore  would  appear  to  be  about  equivalent  to  "without 
appeal,"  though  it  is  worth  noting  that  one  thing  may 
\>e  more  absolute  than  another.  Though  judgment  by 
parliament,  by  battle,  and  by  the  great  assize  are  all 
"absolute,"  judgment  by  parliament  is  of  the  three 
"  the  highest  and  most  absolute."  Similarly,  in  matters 
of  foreign  diplomacy,  we  are  told  that  "  the  kingdome 
of  Englande  is  farre  more  absolute  than  either  the 
dukedome  of  Venice  is,  or  the  kingdome  of  the  Lace- 
demonians was  "   (II.  3). 

One  is  inclined  to  think  that  it  must  have  been 
a  sort~o?~fashionable  catchword,  verymuch  in  the  air  at. 
the  timeT  nTTZ^alnbard,^oFlnstance,  a  contemporary 
writer  dealing  with  very  similar  subject-matter,  the 
following  statement  occurs  :  "The  power  of  the  Justice 
of  Peace  is  in  some  cases  Limited,  and  (in  other  some 
cases)  Absolute :  By  which  latter  word,  I  do  not  meane 
absolute  simply  but  after  a  manner:  For,  they  may 
neither  hang  a  man  for  a  greevous  Trespas  nor  fine  him 
for  a  Felonie,  and  therefore  this  absolute  authoritie  is  to 
our  Law  better  knowne  by  the  name  of  Dis creation  " 
(Justices  of  Peace,  Bk.  I.  ch.  xi.,  pub.  1 58 1).  The  last 
clause  of  this  reads  almost  as  if  Lambard  were  protest- 
ing against  a  particular  contemporary  usage, 


—  Smith,  then,  in  declaring  Parliament  to  be  the  most 
high  and  absolute  power  of  the  realm  (in  time  of  peace) 
is  by  no  means  bringing  up  for  consideration  the 
question  of  sovereignty  in  the  modern  sense,  or  making 
statements  which  have  any  direct  bearing  on  the  great 
controversy  of  the  next  century.  Probably  he  has  not 
seriously  thought  of  the  King  as  being  likely  to  come 
into  opposition  with  the  Houses  in  time  of  peace,  any 
more  than  as  likely  to  come  into  opposition  with  the 
rest  of  the  army  in  time  of  war.  The  King  is  most 
powerful  when  he  is  at  the  head  of  his  army  or  when  he 
is  presiding  over  his  parliament.  The  contrast  upon 
which  Smith's  attention  is  focussed  is  not  the  contrast 
between  the  powers  of  the  Prince  and  of  the  Parliament, 
but  between  the  powers  of  Parliament  and  of  those  other 
courts  which  he  describes  in  later  chapters,  and  describes 
without  any  feeling  of  essential  difference  between  them 
and  this  the  highest  court.  He  is  still,  in  this  respect, 
under  the  influence  of  traditional  theory1.     We,  split- 

1  If  we  turn,  for  instance,  to  Coke's  Fourth  Part  of  the  Institutes  of 
the  Laws  of  England — "concerning  the  jurisdiction  of  courts" — we  find 
in  the  preface  the  following.  u  Curia  hath  two  severall  significations,  and 
accordingly  it  is  severally  derived.  It  signifieth  the  king's  court,  where  his 
royall  person,  and  his  honourable  household  doe  reside It  also  sig- 
nifieth a  tribunall.  or  court  of  justice,  as  here  it  doth,  and  then  it  is 

derived  a  cura,  quia  est  locus,  ubi  publicas  euros  gerebant "     "Now 

when  I  considered  how  much  it  would  tend  to  the  honour  of  the  king's 
majesty,  and  of  his  laws,  to  the  advancement  of  justice,  the  quiet  of  the 
subject,  and  generally  to  the  good  of  the  whole  common  wealth  (no  king 
in  the  Christian  world  having  such  tribunals,  and  seats  of  justice,  as  his 
majesty  hath,  which,  God  willing,  in  this  treatise  we  shall  make  to  appear) 
that  all  the  high,  honourable,  venerable  and  necessary'  tribunals,  and  courts 
of  justice  within  his  majesties  realms  and  dominions,  as  well  civill  as 
ecclesiasticall,  might  be  drawn  together,  as  it  were,  in  one  map,  or  table 
(which  hitherto  was  never  yet  done)  that  the  admirable  benefit,  beauty, 
and  delectable  variety  thereof  might  be,  as  it  were,  uno  intuitu  beholden, 
and  that  the  manifold  jurisdictions  of  the  same  might  be  distinctly  under- 
stood and  observed Out  of  the  duty  that  I  owe  his  most  excellent 

Majesty,  and  my  zeal,  and  affection  to  the  whole  common  wealth,  I  have 
adventured  to  break  the  ice  herein,  and  to  publish  more  at  large  those 



ting  across  our  institutions  with  the  sharp  hatchet  of  a 
theory,  which  declares  one  body  to  be  properly  legis- 
lative, and  another  properly  judicial,  find  afterwards 
(with  some  feeling  of  awkwardness  in  our  theorising, 
and  some  expressions  of  regret,  perhaps,  at  the  imper- 
fection of  the  constitution)  that  we  have  still  to  deal 
with  legislature-made  judicial  sentences  (such  as  bills 
of  pains  and  penalties)  and  with  judge-made  law. 
Smith,  not  having  so  broken  up  his  subject-matter,  is 
not  under  any  obligation  to  spend  pains  on  re-uniting 
the  broken  pieces.  And  similarly  he  has  no  temptation 
to  treat  of  artificial  distinctions  between  what  is  small  and 
local,  on  the  one  hand,  and  what  is  large  and  general, 
on  the  other.  His  book  has  therefore,  in  these  respects, 
a  unity  which  a  modern  treatise,  dealing  with  a  more 
evolved  legislature  and  executive,  and  a  more  fully 
differentiated  system  of  central  and  local  administration, 
would  be  likely  to  lack. 

But  though  on  certain  points  we  must  note  that 
our  author's  ways  of  thinking  are  somewhat  medieval, 
it  is  no  less  a  matter  of  justice  to  point  out  how  un- 
expectedly modern  he  can  be1.      Political  theory  was 

things  which  in  our  reading  we  had  observed  concerning  jurisdiction  of 

courts And  thus  for  all  our  pains,  wishing  the  benevolent  reader  all 

the  profit,  we  (favente  Deo,  et  auspice  Christo)  begin  with  the  high  and 
most  honourable  court  of  Parliament."  Then  follows  the  first  and  longest 
chapter  of  the  book.  In  one  section  of  it  we  are  reminded  "that  the 
lords  in  their  house  have  power  of  judicature,  and  the  commons  in  their 
house  have  power  of  judicature,  and  both  houses  together  have  power  of 
judicature";  another  section  tells  us,  of  the  power  and  jurisdiction  of  the 
parliament,  that  "it  is  so  transcendent  and  absolute,  as  it  cannot  be 
confined  either  for  causes  or  persons  within  any  bounds";  yet  throughout, 
the  parliament  is  treated  as  a  court  among  other  courts,  and  we  find  such 
sectional  headings  as  "Acts  of  Parliament  enrolled  in  other  courts." 

1  In  the  latter  part  of  this  introduction  I  am  very  largely  indebted  to 
certain  written  notes  of  Professor  Maitland's,  of  which  I  have  been 
permitted  to  make  free  use.  Some  of  the  succeeding  paragraphs  are 
almost  direct  transcripts  from  those  notes. 



very  long  in  emancipating  itself  from  the  influence  of 
theology.  Quotation  and  inference  from  Scripture  are 
among  the  strongest  arguments  which  the  medieval 
political  theorist  can  bring  to  bear  in  support  of  his 
views.  But  in  Smith  there  is  no  suggestion  of  this. 
There  is  nothing  of  the  law  of  God  or  the  law  of 
Nature ;  no  word  of  the  divine  right  of  kings ;  and 
if  there  is  a  phrase  which  points  in  the  direction  of 
the  contractual  theory  of  government  that  phrase  is 
not  to  be  pressed.  If  scriptural  instances  are  mentioned, 
it  is  as  illustrative  matter  only,  and  in  order  to  keep 
before  us  the  comparative  nature  of  our  study.  A 
fanciful  sketch  is  given  of  the  growth  of  the  state,  but 
it  is  given  in  an  undogmatic  way,  and  the  author  does 
not  use  it  to  prove  that  one  form  of  government  is 
always  and  everywhere  the  best.  Constitutions  may_ 
be  likened  to  shoes,_and  each  nation_jT>ust  get  what 
fits  jt_best.  ^Toreover,  we  rarely,  if  ever,  find  a  really 
pure  specimen  of  any  of  the  six  forms.  What  we  see 
is  some  mixture,  and  we  name  the  specimen  after  the 
element  that  prevails  in  it.  Such  terms  as  "  monar- 
chical" must  be  applied  to  polities  as  we  apply  to  men 
such  terms  as  "choleric,"  "sanguine,"  "melancholy."  If 
we  call  a  man  "phlegmatic"  we  do  not  mean  that  he 
has  no  blood  and  no  bile.  There  is  a  curiously  modern 
strain  in  all  this :  a  certain  naturalism  or  positivism  we 
might  call  it,  which  distinguishes  Sir  Thomas  from  the 
dealers  in  divine  right  and  social  contracts :  a  certain 
contentment  in  relativity  and  a  distrust  of  the  absolute. 
In  some  important  respects  he  is  more  modern  than 
Hobbes  or  Locke.  Civilian  though  he  is,  he  is  remark- 
ably unjuristic  in  his  method. 

To  come  to  more  detailed  matter,  we  find,  in  his 
treatment  of  Parliament,  that  Smith  is  leaving  behind 



the  notion  of  an  assembly  of  estates.  In  the  Parlia- 
ment the  bishops  are  there  "for  the  clergy";  but 
there  are  only  two  houses,  and  Smith,  himself  in  orders, 
sat  in  the  nether  house.  Of  the  convocations  and  their 
grants  of  taxes,  as  has  been  already  pointed  out,  he  has 
said  nothing ;  and  in  his  Erastian  way  he  held  that  the 
ecclesiastical  tribunals  had  become  the  Queen's  courts 
(III.  9).  Altogether,  as  practical  factors  we  have  already 
rather  two  houses  than  three  estates.  Then  inherited 
theory  demands  that  somehow  or  other  every  English- 
man shall  be  "intended" — that  is,  understood — to  be 
present  in  parliament,  by  himself  or  his  representative. 
How  the  theory  can  be  fitted  to  the  facts  Smith  does 
not  explain ;  but  we  observe  that  he  does  not  have 
recourse  to  a  representation  of  communities.  The 
communities  of  the  land — the  counties  and  towns  as 
organized  bodies — hardly  appear  on  the  surface  of  his 
book.  Here  again  he  is  advancing.  But  there  is  a 
certain  lack  of  clearness  in  his  view.  For  the  Harrison 
chapters  have  given  us  an  unrepresented,  because  vote- 
less, class;  whereas  in  Bk.  II.  c.  1,  we  find  that  every 
one  is  represented.  "For  everie  Englishman  is  en- 
tended  to  bee  there  present,  either  in  person  or  by 
procuration  and  attornies,  of  what  preheminence,  state, 
dignitie,  or  qualitie  soever  he  be,  from  the  Prince  (be 
he  King  or  Queene)  to  the  lowest  person  of  Englande. 
And  the  consent  of  the  Parliament  is  taken  to  be  everie 
mans  consent." 

There  is  a  similar  contentment  with  a  bare  statement 
of  more  or  less  disjointed  facts  when  he  comes  to  place 
before  us  the  various  powers  of  Prince  and  Parliament. 
Their  respective  functions  are  given  in  catalogue  form, 
rather  than  combined  under  general  heads.  The  settle- 
ment of  weights  and  measures,  for  instance,  belongs 
xxxv  i 


to  Parliament,  but  the  Prince  himself  controls  the 
coinage.  Smith  gives  us  few  negative  propositions : 
he  speaks  of  what  can  be  done,  not  of  what  cannot. 
Usage,  it  seems,  has  at  certain  points  defined  a  bound- 
ary. At  certain  points — but  what  of  others  ?  We  get 
no  general  theory — as  for  instance  that  the  action  of 
the  Prince  should  be  confined  within  a  sphere  that  may 
be  labelled  as  "executive" — and  so  are  not  enabled  to 
solve  such  questions  in  advance.  Still  we  may  perhaps 
legitimately  infer  (from  I.  7  and  II.  1)  that  the  power 
of  the  English  King  does  not  extend  to  the  laying  on 
of  "impositions."  And  though  Smith  has  written  that 
"the  prince  is  the  life,  the  head,  and  the  authoritie  of 
all  thinges  that  be  doone  in  the  realme  of  England" 
(II.  3),  we  feel  that  had  he  foreseen  the  coming  political 
storm  his  sympathies  would  have  been  less  with  the 
Stuarts  than  with  their  opponents.  He  ungrudgingly 
makes  much  of  the  "honor  and  reverence"  that  is  done 
to  an  English  queen ;  as  in  his  patriotic  way  he  tends 
to  praise  everything  in  the  English  institutions  that  can 
be  praised,  and  to  find  excuses  valiantly  for  all  that  is 
open  to  criticism.  But  when  he  wishes  to  compare  the 
powers  of  Elizabeth  with  those  of  foreign  rulers  it  is 
to  the  doge  of  Venice  and  the  Lacedaemonian  kings 
(II.  3)  rather  than  to  the  French  monarch  or  the  Italian 
princes  (I.  7)  that  he  turns  for  a  parallel.  Also  it  is 
a  little  strange  to  find  a  faithful  servant  of  Elizabeth 
suggesting  that  in  the  case  of  "an  absolute  queen"  (or 
queen  regnant,  as  we  should  say)  the  shortcomings  in- 
separable from  her  sex,  "not  accustomed  (otherwise) 
to  intermeddle  with  publicke  affaires,"  would  be  made 
up  for  by  the  "counsell  of  such  grave  and  dis- 
creete  men  as  be  able  to  supplie  all  other  defectes" 
(I.    16).      Probably    he    did    not    expect    his    august 



mistress  to  trouble  herself  with  the  reading  of  his  little 

Of  any  power  of  suspending  laws,  or  of  issuing 
ordinances,  except  in  the  matter  of  the  currency,  we 
read  nothing.  Nor  do  we  find  any  claim  that  ecclesi- 
astical affairs  stand  outside  the  cognizance  of  Parliament. 
Moreover  it  is  not  suggested  that  the  Prince  interferes 
in  parliamentary  elections  or  in  the  choice  of  the  Speaker 
— the  statement  to  that  effect  belongs  only  to  the  later 
amplified  editions — or  that  he  controls  by  command 
or  "influence"  the  proceedings  of  either  house.  Sir 
Thomas  has  seen  members  sent  to  the  Tower  for 
speaking  "  unreverently  or  seditiouslie  against  the  Prince 
or  the  privie  counsell"  (II.  2):  but  this  was  done  by 
the  house  itself. 

Yet  Smith,  though  by  no  means  a  partizan  in  his 
statements  as  to  the  relative  powers  of  Prince  and 
Parliament — indeed  he  hardly  seems  aware  of  the  possi- 
bility of  conflict — is  very  far  indeed  from  being  un- 
biassed when  he  appears  as  a  patriotic  apologist  for 
English  ways  and  English  institutions  in  general. 
There  is  of  course  no  objectionable  swaggering.  He 
would  fain  let  the  facts,  if  possible,  speak  for  them- 
selves. But  the  general  effect  thus  produced  is  one 
that  was  bound  to  be  pleasing  to  English  readers.  A 
learned  man,  learned  with  all  the  new  learning,  well 
"seen  in  the  tongues,"  examines  our  case.  He  is  not 
one  of  our  common  lawyers ;  he  is  a  civilian  and  has 
viewed  the  great  world.  Yet  hear,  for  example,  what 
he  has  to  say  of  our  system  of  "  pleading  to  issue," 
which  we  might  have  expected  him  to  regard  as  a 
barbarian  labyrinth.  "Having,"  he  says,  "seene  both 
in  France  and  other  places  manie  devises,  edictes  and 
ordinances  howe  to  abridge  proces  and  to  finde  howe 


that  long  suites  in  law  might  be  made  shorter :  I  have 
not  perceived  nor  reade  as  yet  so  wise,  so  just,  and  so 
well  devised  a  meane  found  out  as  this  by  any  man 
among  us  in  Europe." 

Unfortunately  Smith's  patriotic  bias  is  not  confined 
to  the  mere  expression  of  eulogiums  such  as  this. 
There  are  two  other  passages  which  deserve  more 
serious  notice.  Smith  himself  had  before  the  end 
of  his  life  allowed  himself  on  one  occasion  to  be 
over-ruled  in  the  matter  of  ordering  the  application 
of  torture1.  Yet  he  speaks  as  though  torture  were 
absolutely  unknown  in  England  and  abhorred  by 
Englishmen.  And,  further,  in  saying  that  bondmen 
had  become  so  few  "that  it  is  not  almost  worth  the 
speaking,"  he  is  saying,  as  a  Russian  scholar'2  has 
lately  shewn  us,  what  was  likely  to  deceive  English 

We  have  apologies  also,  for  such  the  apologist  must 
have  felt  them  to  be,  for  some  of  our  English  archaisms, 
for  profitable  and  vendible  wardships  and  marriages, 
for  a  law  of  marital  property  exceedingly  unfavourable 
to  the  wife,  for  the  power  of  the  ordinary  over  the 
succession  to  an  intestate's  goods,  for  the  injustice  of 
benefit  of  clergy,  and  even  for  trial  by  battle.     We  are 

1  See  Ellis's  Original  Letters,  vol.  II.  p.  261.  "  I  suppose  we  have 
gotten  so  much  as  at  this  time  is  like  to  be  had;  yet  tomorrow  do  we 
intend  to  bring  a  couple  of  them  to  the  Rack,  not  in  any  hope  to  get  any 
thing  worthy  that  pain  or  fear,  but  because  it  is  so  earnestly  commanded 
to  us.  As  for  Barker,  I  thynk  he  hath  and  will  confess  so  much  as  his  wit 
will  serve  him ;  and  yet,  as  it  appeareth,  hath  been  the  most  doer  betwixt 
the  Duke  and  other  foreign  practisers.  Banister  is  somewhat  obstinate, 
but  little  he  knoweth.  We  send  you  his,  Barker's,  Higford'sand  Charles's 
examinations  more  than  you  have  had  already.  I  pray  you  trust  that 
tomorrow  we  will  do  what  we  can  do."  (Letter  from  Smith  to  Burghley, 
17th  Sept.  1571.) 

2  M.  Savine.  in  the  Transactions  qftbe  Royal  Historical  Society  for  1903, 
,:  Bondmen  under  the  Tudors." 

c  xxxix 


such  a  military  folk,  we  English — this  is  the  current 
and  flattering  excuse.  In  1565  we  English  had  lately 
lost  Calais,  failed  to  storm  Leith,  evacuated  Havre, 
shivered  in  our  shoes  lest  Spain  and  France  should 
partition  Great  Britain  ;  and  "pugnacious"  would  seem 
a  better  word  than  "military." 

But  though  we  may  note  this  tendency,  this  very 
natural  tendency  (especially  in  a  home-sick  ambassador 
ever  eager  for  his  recall),  to  make  the  best  of  every- 
thing English,  we  have  no  warrant  for  accusing  Smith 
of  being  so  far  lacking  in  good  faith  as  to  be  secretly 
pamphleteering  in  any  particular  cause.  A  political 
pamphlet  would  hardly  have  been  kept  back  so  long 
unpublished.  Certainly  he  is  not  pamphleteering  in 
the  interest  of  monarchy ;  and  if  for  a  moment  it 
occurs  to  us  that  the  Queen's  secretary  is  concerned, 
incidentally  to  represent  her  rule  as  less  despotic  than 
it  really  is,  and  to  emphasize  the  fact  that  the  bad  days, 
when  military  law  could  be  applied  in  time  of  peace 
or  juries  fined  for  verdicts  unsatisfactory  to  the  Crown, 
are  clean  gone  by,  we  shall  at  once  observe  that  on  the 
other  hand  he  is  writing  sentences  which,  if  accepted, 
may  be  awkward  impediments  in  the  way  of  any  further 
growth  of  the  prerogative.  That  he  is  secretly  pam- 
phleteering against  the  Queen's  conduct  of  affairs  and 
intends  his  readers  to  perceive  a  contrast  between  theory 
and  fact  would  be  a  wild  supposition.  No,  almost 
certainly,  this  is  how  Smith  sees,  or  would  fain  per- 
suade himself  that  he  sees,  the  English  constitution  of 
1565.  And,  in  spite  of  patriotic  bias,  his  book  suggests 
the  scientific  observer  to  a  greater  extent  than  the 
works  of  either  of  his  French  contemporaries  Bodin 
or  Hotman,  who,  in  spite  of  the  philosophical  or 
quasi-historical  forms  into  which  they  have  cast  their 


treatises,  are  to  no  slight  degree  advocates  of  living 
political  causes. 

It  has  been  suggested  that  while  in  France  Sir  Thomas 
may  have  met  and  been  influenced  by  the  famous  Jean 
Bodin.  The  meeting  between  them  is  not  impossible. 
It  is  to  be  remembered,  however,  that  Smith  was  by  some 
seventeen  years  the  older  man,  that  Bodin's  Metbodus 
ad  facilem  Historiarum  Cognitionem  was  not  published 
until  1566,  the  year  after  Smith  had  written  his 
Commonwealth^  and  that  the  celebrated  treatise  De 
la  republique  did  not  appear  in  its  French  form  until 
1576  or  in  its  Latin  form  until  1586.  It  is  also  to  be 
observed  that  the  Englishman  seems  quite  unconscious 
that  the  traditional  lore  of  the  various  forms  of  govern- 
ment has  been  challenged  at  a  most  important  point. 
If  there  is  any  proposition  that  Bodin  is  anxious  to 
establish  as  well  in  his  early  Metbodus  as  in  his 
mature  De  Republican  surely  it  is  that  there  are 
three  polities  and  three  only — monarchy,  aristocracy  and 
democracy — and  that  "mixed  forms"  are  but  idle 
conceits.  Bodin,  so  it  seems  to  us,  would  have  re- 
garded Smith  as  a  feeble  thinker,  and  Smith  if  he  had 
been  impressed  by  Bodin's  opinions  would  have  felt 
bound  to  argue  for  the  possibility  of  "mixed  forms" 
rather  than  quietly  to  state  that  all  or  nearly  all  the 
polities  that  appear  in  real  life  are  more  or  less  mixed. 
On  the  other  hand,  Bodin  makes  no  mention  of  Smith 
in  the  somewhat  lengthy  passage  in  which  he  proves 
that  the  English  constitution  is  simply  monarchical  and 
refuses  to  our  parliaments  any  share  of  sovereignty. 
Incidentally  he  tells  how  he  has  obtained  certain  in- 
formation about  England  from  English  ambassadors 
in  France ;  but  the  ambassadors  whom  he  names  are 
Valentine  Dale  and  Thomas  Randolph,  who  were  sent 

c  2  xli 


to  France  after  Smith's  return1.  Bodin  himself  came 
to  England  with  the  Duke  of  Anjou  in  1579,  had 
converse  with  Dr  Dale2  and,  discovering  that  a  lecturer 
at  Cambridge  was  already  struggling  with  the  French 
text  of  his  book,  determined  to  translate  it  into  Latin3. 
The  publisher  of  the  Latin  version,  issued  at  Paris  in 
1586,  boasts  on  the  title-page  of  privileges  granted  by 
the  Emperor,  the  King  of  France,  and  the  Queen  of 
England.  An  English  translation  was  published  by 
Richard  Knolles  in  1606,  and  there  can  be  no  doubt 
that  this  celebrated  treatise  affected  the  current  of 
political  thought  in  England ;  but  it  did  so  by  attack- 
ing Smith's  vague  views  on  the  doctrine  of  sovereignty. 
Intercourse  between  Smith  and  Hotman  seems  as  likely 
as  intercourse  between  Smith  and  Bodin,  and  the  English- 
man would,  so  it  seems  to  us,  have  found  more  to 
approve  in  the  Franco-Gallia  than  in  the  Six  livres  de  la 
republique.  Some  men,  Sir  Thomas  says,  "blame  Lewes 
the  XI.  for  bringing  the  administration  royall  of  Fraunce 
from  the  lawful  and  regulate  raigne  to  the  absolute  and 
tyrannicall  power  and  governement "  (I.  7).  The  refer- 
ence may  very  probably  be  to  Hotman.  For  Hotman 
definitely  dates  the  era  of  degeneracy  in  the  French 
judicial  system  from  the  time  of  Louis  XI. ;  and  to 
hold  converse  with  men  who  maintained  opinions  of 
this  sort  was  one  of  the  duties  of  an  English  ambas- 
sador who  went  to  France  in  1562  when  the  English 
Queen  was  giving  armed  aid  to  the  Huguenots.     More- 

1  Les  six  livres  de  la  republique,  Lyon,  1593,  vol.  I.  p.  139:  "comme 
i'ay  sceu  de  M.  Dail,  Ambassadeur  d'Angleterre,  homme  d'honneur  et  de 
scavoir."  Ibid.  vol.  11.  p.  742:  "comme  i'ay  sgeu  par  l'Ambassadeur 
Randon  Anglois."  These  last  words  seem  not  to  be  represented  in  the 
Latin  text. 

2  De  republica  libri  sex,  Paris,  1586,  p.  507:  "  Dalus  magister  libell- 

3  See  the  prefatory  epistle. 



over  there  are  few  points  on  which  Hotman  is  more 
emphatic  than  in  his  assertions  that  the  "reign  of 
litigiousness"  in  France  is  due  to  the  influence  of 
Justinian ;  and  this  we  have  noted  is  one  of  the  con- 
trasts in  which  Smith  glories — praising  the  English 
system  for  its  satisfactory  brevity  and  the  little  oppor- 
tunity that  it  affords  to  "idle  whot  heades,  busie  bodies, 
and  troublesome  men  in  the  common  wealth."  Hotman 
also,  like  Smith,  recognizes  and  approves  mixed  forms 
of  government.  "For  the  form  of  this  government" 
(Hotman  writes  regarding  early  France)  "was  the  very 
same  which  the  ancient  philosophers,  and  among  them 
Plato  and  Aristotle  (whom  Polybius  imitates),  judged 
to  be  the  best  and  most  excellent  in  the  world,  as 
being  made  up  and  constituted  of  a  mixture  and  just 
temperament  of  the  three  kinds  of  government,  viz. 
the    Regal,  Noble    and    Popular"   (Eng.  trans.    17 11, 

P.  65). 

It  has  also  been  surmised  that  Smith  may  have 
intended  his  book  chiefly  for  foreign  scholars  and 
statesmen — men  with  whom  he  had  conversed  in  France 
and  their  like.  But  in  that  case  we  should  have 
expected  him  to  write  in  Latin.  This  he  could  have 
done  with  ease ;  while  he  cannot  have  thought  that 
many  Frenchmen  were  going  to  read  English.  Then 
and  later  Frenchmen  generally  believed  that  even  in 
England  the  English  language  was  but  the  tongue 
of  the  vulgar  herd.  Nor  can  we  say  that  if  Smith 
wrote  tor  his  fellow-countrymen  he  was  not  meeting 
a  potential  demand.  When  once  his  book  was 
published,  new  editions  were  soon  called  for.  At 
this  we  have  no  need  to  be  surprised.  If  the  book 
told  the  Englishman  some  things  about  England  that 
he  knew,  and  perhaps  knew  better  than  its  author  did, 



it  also  told  him  many  things  that  he  did  not  know  but 
might  like  to  know.  Even  in  such  matters  as  parlia- 
mentary procedure,  the  three  readings  of  the  bill  and 
so  forth,  we  might  easily  overrate  the  extent  to  which 
what  Smith  tells  us  was  matter  of  common  knowledge 
among  the  English  gentry  of  the  time. 

Turning  now  from  discussion  of  the  subject-matter 
and  the  purpose  of  the  book  we  find  there  are  certain 
textual  points  which  require  a  little  attention. 

The  text  we  give  is  the  earliest, — that  of  1583, 
which  is  practically,  though  not  absolutely,  identical 
with  that  of  1584.  The  spelling  varies  erratically, 
and  in  a  few  places  there  is  a  difference  of  a  word  or 
two  in  the  reading.  But  we  have  also  two  manuscripts, 
one  in  the  library  of  Trinity  College,  Cambridge1,  and 
the  other  in  the  British  Museum2.  These  differ  con- 
siderably in  places  from  the  printed  edition,  and  are 
closer  akin  to  one  another  than  the  printed  edition  is 
to  either.  The  number  of  petty  changes  of  detail — that 
for  which,  and  for  or,  a  for  the,  etc. — is  enormous,  and 
the  reproduction  of  these  was  thought  to  be  likely  to 
serve  no  good  purpose,  but  rather  to  obscure  the  main 
issue.  The  variations  however  have  all  been  carefully 
collated,  and  those  which  seem  to  possess  any  signifi- 
cance are  printed  in  an  appendix  to  the  present 
edition.  It  will  be  seen  that  the  MSS.  occasionally 
give  more  satisfactory  readings  than  the  printed  edition, 
as,  for  instance,  when  they  substitute  (in  the  last  sen- 
tence of  I.  12)  "He  againe  used  no  rigour"  for  "He 
againe  used  noriture,"  or  (in  I.  18)  give  us  "some  are 
called  lands  knights  as  souldiers  of  their  land  not 
hyred"  where  the  printed  edition  has  "lanceknights" 
and   "band."     Such  changes  may  of  course  be  mere 

1  No.  1504.  2  Harleian  1130. 



conjectural  emendations  of  the  copyist ;  but  they  may 
also  point  to  the  MSS.  being  descended  in  a  direct  line 
from  the  author's  MS.1 

The  first  editions  of  the  De  Republica  appeared  in 
1583  and  1584.  In  these  as  well  as  in  the  later  editions 
we  find  certain  marginal  notes.  Occasionally  we  see  out 
in  the  margin  some  term  which  is  being  explained  in  the 
text,  for  example,  " Monarchia,"  "Rex,"  "Tyrannus," 
"Dictatorship,"  "Just."  This  happens  chiefly  in  the 
first  few  pages  and  is  not  done  systematically ;  but  the 
same  words  for  the  most  part  are  found  in  the  two 
MSS.  of  the  work  which  have  been  collated  for  the 
present  edition.  Their  appearance  seems  to  tell  us 
that  some  one,  possibly  the  author,  had  set  a  few  catch- 
words in  the  manuscript  that  the  printer  had  used. 
But  there  are  marginal  notes  of  a  more  interesting 
kind,  and  the  question  arises  whether  they  can  possibly 
be  Smith's.  A  few  of  them  might  be  called  explan- 
atory, but  most  are  corrective2,  and  the  corrections  are 
hardly  of  a  kind  that  an  author  makes  in  the  margin  of 
his  book.  Thus,  for  example,  speaking  of  the  trial  of 
a  lord  by  his  peers,  Smith  says,  "and  for  Judge  one 
Lord  sitteth  who  is  Constable  of  England  for  that  day." 
In  the  margin  we  see  "Or  rather  high  steward  of 
England."  Here  if  Smith  had  discovered  his  own 
mistake  and  desired  to  correct  it,  he  might  easily 
have  done  this  by  substituting  "high  steward"  for 
"constable"  in  his  text.      A  yet  plainer  indication  is 

1  The  reader  should  note  the  remarks  in  the  1583  preface  about  the 
••often  transcripting "  of  the  book  and  the  probable  faults  committed  by 
clerks  and  writers. 

2  It  is  perhaps  intended  to  account  for  their  appearance  in  the 
Preface,  where  the  Editor  (or  Publisher)  mentions  that  "some  termes  or 
other  matters  may  seme  to  dissent  from  the  usual  phrase  of  the  common 
lawes  of  this  realme  "  and  finds  excuses  for  the  inaccuracies. 



given  to  us  by  another  note.  Sir  Thomas  believed 
that  our  English  word  fee  and  the  medieval  feodum  or 
feudum  were  etymologically  connected  with  the  Latin 
fides.  "This,"  he  says,  "is  a  more  likely  interpretation 
than  that  which  Litleton  doth  put  in  his  book,  who 
saith  that  feodum  idem  est  quod  htereditas,  which  it  doth 
betoken  in  no  language.  This  happeneth  many  times 
to  them  who  be  of  great  wit  and  learning,  yet  not 
seen  in  many  tongues,  or  marketh  not  the  deduction 
of  words  which  time  doth  alter."  Over  against  this  a 
note  is  printed,  "Litleton  did  not  interpret  the  word 
feodum  simply,  but  rather  define  or  describe  the  nature 
thereof.  Litleton  seen  in  the  tongues  as  Sir  Thomas 
Smith  was  in  Litleton."  This  is  censure  and  there  is 
some  asperity.  The  annotator  has  been  ruffled  by 
Smith's  tone  of  superiority.  Litleton,  he  says  in  effect, 
was  not  dabbling  in  etymology,  and  belike  he  was 
as  much  a  master  of  the  tongues  as  you  are  of  his 
book.  It  is  censure,  and  we  must  add  that  it  is 
deserved  censure.  Litleton  had  said  nothing  that  was 
untrue,  while  Smith  plunges  on  into  error  misled  by  the 
fact  that  in  his  own  day  the  word,  feoffees  had  begun  to 
suggest  trusteeship.  He  had  touched  a  tender  point, 
and  some  zealous  worshipper  of  the  sacred  text  of 
Litleton's   Tenures  has  turned  and  rent  him. 

Whoever  the  annotator  was,  he  can  hardly  have 
been  a  mere  literary  hack  in  the  pay  of  the  publisher. 
No  publisher  would  wish  even  to  this  moderate  extent 
to  cast  disparagement  on  the  work  of  an  author  whom 
he  was  bringing  out  for  the  first  time.  But  yet  if  the 
annotator  was  at  all  a  well-known  or  conspicuous  person, 
it  is  a  little  strange  that  the  fact  should  not  be  notified 
on  the  title-page. 

Further  we  observe  that  the  annotations  in  the  1583 


and  1584  editions  are  not  quite  identical.  The  second 
edition  omits  two  of  the  notes  given  in  the  earlier: — 
one  at  the  beginning  of  II.  16  which  reads,  "Hundreds 
were  named  of  townes,  nils,  or  other  markes";  and 
one  towards  the  end  of  III.  6,  with  regard  to  the 
property  which  may  pass  to  a  woman  at  her  husband's 
death,  "She  shalbe  endowed  at  the  discretion  of  the 
sherife,  except  in  few  cases."  But  the  later  edition 
besides  other  minor  alterations  inserts  four  considerable 
notes — those  on  the  etymology  of  "yeomen,"  of  "con- 
stable," and  of  "wapentake,"  and  a  note  in  III.  8,  "The 
sonnes  of  freemen  of  London  are  also  free  by  birth, 
according  to  the  custome."  Two  only  of  the  earlier 
notes  are  etymological,  those  on  "lanceknights"  (Brit. 
Mus.  MS.  "lands  knights")  and  on  "Sir";  both  of 
which  are  in  I.  18, — "Vere  lantzknechti,  lancearius :  a 
speareman";  and  "Sire  quasi  Senior."  There  seems 
a  possibility  that  we  have  two  annotators,  the  later  of 
whom  has  a  stronger  etymological  bent  than  the  earlier. 
We  give  the  marginal  notes  of  the  1583  edition  in 
full;  excepting  the  cases  where  they  are  mere  indi- 
cations of  the  contents  of  the  text — e.g.  "Domus  seu 
familia"  (I.  11);  "Eques  auratus.  The  making  of  a 
knight"  (I.  18). 

Text  Note 

...the  father  and  mother  sendeth  Provining  or  propagation  is  when 

them  out  in  couples  as  it  were  by      a  man  layeth  a  branch  of  a  Vine  or 
provining  or  propagation.     (I.  12.)       Osier,  or  any  other  tree  into  the 

ground,  so  that  it  taketh  roote  of  it 
selfe  and  may  live  though  it  be  cut 
then  from  the  first  roote  or  stock. 

For  the  eldest  of  dukes  sonnes  Eldest  sonnes  of  dukes  are  not 

during  his  fathers  life  is  called  an      earles    by   birth,    but    lordes.    and 
earle,...     (I.  17.)  take  their  place  above  earles  and  so 

are  eldest  sons  in  respect  of  barons. 



Text  Note 

Centuriatis    comitiis    or    tributis.  Alias  tribunitiis. 

(II.  I.) 

But  in  those  pleas  and  pursuites 
of  the  crowne  procurer  or  advocate 
he  [the  prisoner]  gets  none.    (II.  9.) 

For  that  which  in  the  civill  la  we 
is  called  actio  or  formula,  we  call 
writ  in  English:  so  the  Greekes 
called  it  word  for  word  ypa(f>rj,  and 
in  our  barbarous  latine  we  name  it 
breve.     (II.  9.) 

If  in  the  la  we  the  case  seeme  to 
the  Judges  that  sitte  doubtfull,  it  is 
called  a  checker  chamber  case,  and 
all  the  Judges  will  meete  together, 
and  what  they  shall  pronounce  to 
be  the  lawe,  that  is  helde  for  right. . . . 
(II.  13.) 

If  the  Sergeants  or  counsellers 
doe  stand  upon  anie  point  in  the 
law  which  is  not  so  doubtfull,  the 
Judges  who  be  taken  for  most  ex- 
pert biddes  him  goe  forwarde :  and 
if  he  hath  no  other  to  say  but 
standeth  upon  that  point  of  lawe, 
that  bidding  goe  forward  is  taken 
that  he  looseth  his  action....  (II. 

...eche  partie  must  agree  to  the 
other  stil  in  the  fact  which  he  can- 
not denie....     (II.  13.) 

The  adverse  partie  or  his  advo- 
cates which  wee  call  counsellers 
and  sergeants  interrogateth  some- 
time the  witnesses,  and  driveth  them 
out  of  countenance.     (II.  15.) 

1  The  ouster  of  this  phrase  is  very  low  Anglo-French.  It  should  be 
outre  (Lat.  ultra).  The  old  phrase  was  Responez  outre  (Engl.  Answer 
over  =  Find  some  further  and  better  answer).  The  change  of  -r<?  into  -er 
is  common,  and  a  parasitic  s  need  not  surprise  us.  The  other  ouster 
(Fr.  oter)  may  have  influenced  the  process.     (F.  W.  M.) 


Saving    in    appels   and   upon    a 
special  plea. 

Actio  is  the  parties  whole  suite. 
Breve  is  the  kings  precept. 

But  sometimes  it  is  determined 
by  the  same  court  onely. 

This  shoulde  be  ment  of  a  re- 
spondes  [corr.  respondeas]  ouster1, 
when  the  opinion  is  against  him 
that  taketh  an  exception  that  is  not 

He  may  denie  it  by  protestation. 

That  is  not  order  but  abuse. 



The  partie  with  whom  they  have 
given  their  sentence,  giveth  the  en- 
quest  their  dinner....     (II.  15.) 

But  sometime  nowe  in  places 
whereof  the  hundred  hath  the  name, 
no  mention  nor  memorie  of  a  towne 
remaineth.     (II.  16.) 

...his  undersherife...must  prepare 
against  that  time  tower  enquestes  of 
xxiiii  Yeomen  a  peece  of  diverse 
hundredes  in  the  shire,  and  besides 
one  which  is  called  the  great  en- 
quest  out  of  the  bodie  of  the  shire 
mingled  with  all.     (II.  19.) 

So  he  is  called  three  times  in 
diverse  countie  daies  to  render  him- 
selfe  to  the  lawe.  The  fourth  is 
called  the  exigent,  by  which  he  is 
outlawed  not  rendring  himselfe,  as 
ye  would  say:  ex  actus  or  actus  in 
exilium.     (II.  19.) 

These  meetinges. .  .be  called  quar- 
ter sessions  or  sessions  of  enquirie, 
because  that  nothing  is  there  deter- 
mined touching  the  malefactors,  but 
onely thecustodieofthem.  (II.  19.) 

But  for  so  much  as  everie  little 
village  hath  commonly  two  Con- 
stables, and  many  times  artificers, 
labourers  and  men  of  small  abilitie 
be  chosen.     (II.  22.) 

He  that  claimeth  his  Clergie,  is 
burned  foorthwith  in  the  presence 
of  the  Judges  in  the  brawne  of 
his  hande...and  is  delivered  to  the 
Bishops  officer  to  be  kept  in  the 
Bishops  prison,  from  whence  after 
a  certaine  time  by  an  other  enquest 
of  Clarkes  he  is  delivered  and  let  at 
large.     (II.  23.) 

Courtesie  and  not  dutie. 

Hundreds  were  named  of  townes, 
hils,  or  other  markes. 

This  is  not  alwaies  and  in  al 
places  observed,  but  onely  concern- 
ing the  graund  enquest. 

The  use  of  capias   and  exigent 
upon  inditementes  is  otherwise. 

They  are  put  to  fines. 

One    or   two    Constables, 
boroughes  or  tithingmen. 


The  deliverie  to  the  Bishops 
prison,  and  the  purgation  is  taken 
away  by  statute1. 

■  See  Stat.  18  Eliz.  c.  7  (1576).     (F.  W.  M.) 




...and  if  he  knowe  any  private 
man  who  purchased  his  incitement, 
and  is  able  to  pursue  it,  he  may 
have  an  action  of  conspiracie  against 
him,  and  a  large  amendes.    (II.  23.) 


They  must  be  two  at  the  least 
that  conspired. 

Impoisoners,  if  the  person  die 
thereof,  by  a  newe  lawe  made  in 
King  Henrie  the  eights  time  shalbe 
boyled  to  death.     (II.  24.) 

And  for  Judge  one  Lord  sitteth, 
who  is  Constable  of  England  for 
that  day.     (II.  25.) 

There  must  in  the  attaint  no 
more  evidence  be  brought  in,  but 
only  that  which  was  brought  in 
and  alledged  before  the  first  enquest. 
(III.  2.) 

The  Prince  had  before  the  waste 
of  all  their  lands  and  possessions 
with  other  punishments,  which  at 
this  present  by  a  lawe  made  by  par- 
liament in  the  time  of  King  Henrie 
the  eight  is  abolished.     (III.  2.) 

...or  to  demaunde  the  triall  by 
battle,  wherein  both  the  parties 
must  either  themselves  in  person, 
or  else  finde  other  for  them,  who 
be  called  in  our  Law  Champions 
or  Campions.     (III.  3.) 

...the  partie  grieved  hath  these 
two  remedies,  I  say  to  require 
justice  by  grand  assise,  or  battle 
upon  his  appeale.     (III.  3.) 

. .  .if  the  riot  be  found  and  certified 
to  the  Kings  Counsell,  or  if  other- 
wise it  be  complained  of,  the  partie 
is  sent  for,  and  he  must  appeare  in 
this  starre  chamber.     (III.  4.) 



Or    rather    high    stewarde     of 

No  more  evidence  on  the  behalfe 
of  the  plaintife,  but  of  the  defendant 
there  may. 

The  statute  of  23.  Henrie  8.  doth 
not  abolish  common  lawe,  but  giveth 
a  more  profitable  for  the  plaintife. 

In  appeale  the  battle  is  tryed  by 
the  parties  onely,  and  in  writs  of 
right  by  champions. 

The  battle  or   Jurie  is   at   the 
election  of  the  defendant. 

Sent  for  by  Subpoena. 



All  this  while  I  speake  of  that 
which  is  called  in  French  garde 
noble.     (III.  5.) 

So  he,  who  had  a  father,  which 
kept  a  good  house,  and  had  all 
things  in  order  to  maintaine  it, 
shall  come  to  his  owne,  after  he  is 
out  of  wardshippe,  woods  decayed, 
houses  fallen  downe,  stocke  wasted 
and  gone,  land  let  foorth  and 
plowed  to  the  baren,  and  to  make 
amends,  shall  pay  yet  one  yeres  rent 
for  reliefe....     (III.  5.) 

...if  he  die  and  she  take  a  hus- 
bande  of  a  meaner  estate  by  whom 
she  shall  not  be  called  Ladie  (such 
is  the  honour  we  doe  give  to 
women)  she  shall  still  be  called 
Ladie  with  the  surname  of  her  first 
husbande  and  not  of  the  seconde. 
(III.  6.) 

...if  the  wife  be  enheretrix  and 
bring  lande  with  her  to  the  mariage, 
that  lande  descendeth  to  her  eldest 
sonne,  or  is  divided  among  her 
daughters.  Also  the  manner  is, 
that  the  lande  which  the  wife 
bringeth  to  the  mariage  or  pur- 
chaseth  afterwardes,  the  husbande 
can  not  sell  nor  alienate  the  same.... 
(III.  6.) 

Likewise  if  the  husbande... die 
before  the  wife... she  shall  holde 
the  one  thirde  part  of  his  landes 
during  her  life  as  her  dowrie, 
whether  he  had  childe  by  her  or 
no.     (III.  6.) 

This  is  a  more  likely  interpreta- 
tion than  that  which  Litleton  doeth 
put  in  his  booke....     (III.  8.) 


Gardian  in  chevalrie,  and  gardian 
in  Socage. 

But  the  Lorde  shalbe  punished 
for  the  wast,  by  losse  of  the  ward  : 
or  treble  damages,  if  that  suffice 

She  is  no  Ladie  by  the  law  al- 
though so  called  of  courtisie. 

It  is  avoidable  after  the  hus- 
bandes  death,  except  it  be  for  xxi 
yeares  or  three  lives  according  to 
the  statute,  or  except  they  levie  a 

She  shalbe  endowed  at  the  dis- 
cretion of  the  sherife,  except  in  few 

Litleton  did  not  interpret  the 
word  feodum  simply,  but  rather 
define  or  describe  the  nature  there- 
of. Litleton  seene  in  the  tongues  as 
Sir  Thomas  Smith  was  in  Litleton. 



Text  Note 

...whosoever  sueth  for  any  thing  Which  ought  to  be  tried  in  the 

to  Rome  or  in  any  spirituall  court  temporall  court, 
for  that  cause  or  action  which  may 
be  pleaded  in  the  temporall  court  of 
the  Realme,  by  an  olde  lawe  of 
Englande  he  falleth  into  a  prae- 
munire....    (III.  9.) 

The  book,  it  is  clear,  has  come  in  1583  into  the  hands 
of  someone  who  thinks,  and,  so  it  seems  to  us,  rightly 
thinks,  that  he  can  correct  Smith's  law.  The  annotator 
of  the  1584  edition  it  may  be  noted  (whether  he  be  the 
same  as  the  earlier  annotator  or  not,  is  not  clear)  has 
a  leaning  towards  etymology,  and  it  may  be  worth  our 
while  to  notice  the  places  at  which  he  expresses  dissent. 
There  is  the  difficult  yeoman.  Smith  observes  that  in 
c'lowe  dutch"  yonker  betokens  "a  meane  gentleman  or 
a  gay  fellow,"  and  he  suggests  that  our  yeomen  serving 
in  the  wars  picked  up  this  term  and  applied  it  in  the 
form  of  "yonker  man"  to  each  other  "by  mockage  or 
in  sport."  The  annotator  disagrees.  He  holds  that 
"yonker  commeth  of  young  herre  which  is  a  son  and  heire 
to  a  gentleman,  or  a  young  gentleman" ;  and  he  thinks 
that  our  yeoman  derives  from  yeman,  which  in  the  Saxon 
is  a  married  man.  As  to  constable,  Smith  favours 
kinnyngstable ',  "as  ye  would  say  a  man  established  by 
the  king."  The  annotator  accepts  kinnyngstable ',  but 
takes  this  to  mean  regia  virgula,  the  rod  or  wand  signi- 
fying the  king's  power  or  authority,  represented  among 
us  by  the  constable's  staff.  Then  as  to  scaccarium,  Smith 
does  not  seem  to  see  that  there  is  any  etymological 
connection  with  exchequer  and  tells  us  that,  according  to 
some,  it  should  be  statarium,  because  in  the  exchequer 
was  the  stable  place  to  account  for  the  revenues  of 
the  crown.  On  the  other  hand,  the  annotator  says 


that  "scats  in  ancient  Saxon  is  that  which  we  by  a 
borowed  terme  call  tresure,  whereof  is  derived  Scac- 
carium  signifying  a  court  dealing  with  the  kinges  trea- 
sure or  revenues,  and  also  escaetor^  that  is  an  officer 
which  imploieth  the  kinges  profit."  These  notes  seem 
to  proceed  from  a  man  who  himself  is  "seen  in  the 
tongues,"  and  whence  he  got  his  scats,  if  by  "ancient 
Saxon"  he  meant  a  language  once  spoken  in  England, 
might,  we  take  it,  be  a  curious  inquiry1.  3  ^cx^ 

So  much  for  our  earliest  editions  of  the  text.  The 
consideration  of  the  later,  together  with  certain  "ad- 
ditional matter"  which  is  incorporated  in  them,  is 
reserved  for  an  appendix.  A  second  appendix  presents 
the  passages  in  Harrison  of  which  Smith  seems  to  have 
availed  himself  in  his  revision  of  his  first  manuscript ; 
and  the  more  important  variant  readings  of  the  text 
which  are  furnished  by  the  MSS.  at  Trinity  College, 
Cambridge,  and  at  the  British  Museum  are  given  in  a 

1  For  sceatt  see  Chadwick,  Anglo-Saxon  Institutions,  p.  7. 




The  maner  of  Governement  or 

policie  of  the  Realme  of  Eng- 
land, compiled  by  the  Honora- 
ble Sir  Thomas   Smyth  Knight, 
Doctor  of  both  the  lawes,  and 
one    of  the    principal    Secre- 
taries unto  the  two  most  wor- 
thy Princes,  King  Edward 
the  sixt,  and  Queene 

Seene  and  allowed, 


Printed   by   Henrie  Midleton 

for  Gregorie  Seton, 

Anno  Domini 

To  the  Reader 

TO  conceale  the  graces  inspired  by  God,  or  the 
giftes  ingraffed  by  nature,  or  the  vertues  at- 
chived  unto  ourselves  by  Industrie,  in  all  ages  and  of 
all  wise  men  was  accounted  unduetifulnesse,  unkind- 
nesse  &  impietie  unto  that  commonwealth,  in  the 
which,  and  unto  the  which  we  are  both  bred  and  borne  : 
but  to  suppresse  the  worthie  works  of  any  author,  may 
justly  be  judged  not  only  injurie  to  the  person,  but 
even  envie  at  the  whole  world.  Wherefore  chauncing 
upon  this  short  discourse  compiled  by  the  honorable 
knight  sir  Thomas  Smyth,  and  considering  that  the 
same  could  not  but  be  a  great  light  unto  the  ignorant, 
&  no  lesse  delight  unto  the  learned  in  the  lawes  and 
policie  of  sundrie  regiments :  I  thought  it  part  of  my 
dutie,  aswel  for  reviving  of  the  fame  of  so  notable 
a  man,  as  for  the  publike  imparting  of  so  pythie  a 
treatise,  to  present  the  same  unto  thy  indifferent  and 
discreete  judgement.  Wherein  although  the  errors  & 
rashnes  of  Scribes,  appearing  in  the  contrarietie  &  cor- 
ruption of  coppies,  happening  both  by  the  length  of 
time  sithens  the  first  making,  as  also  by  the  often 
transcripting  might  justly  have  been  mine  excuse  or 
rather  discourage :    yet   weying  the   authoritie   of  the 

A  2  X 


author  togither  with  the  gravitie  of  the  matter,  I  made 
no  doubt  but  that  the  reverence  due  unto  the  one,  & 
the  recompence  deserved  by  the  other  would  easily 
countervail  all  faults  committed  by  a  clarke  &  writer. 
And  whereas  some  termes  or  other  matters  may  seme 
to  dissent  from  the  usual  phrase  of  the  common  lawes 
of  this  realme :  notwithstanding  to  him  that  will  con- 
sider that  the  profession  of  the  maker  was  principally 
in  the  civil  lawes,  and  therefore  not  to  be  expected  as 
one  excellent  in  both,  &  also  that  the  finishing  of  this 
worke  was  in  Fraunce  farre  from  his  librarie,  and  in  an 
ambassad  even  in  the  midst  of  waightie  affaires,  it  cannot 
nor  ought  not  without  great  ingratitude  be  displesant 
or  in  any  sort  disliking.  Wherefore  (gentle  Reader) 
accept  in  good  part  my  zeale  and  this  honorable  mans 
travaile :  assuring  thy  self  that  the  same  framed  by  an 
expert  workemaister,  and  forged  of  pure  and  excellent 
mettall,  will  not  faile  in  prooving  to  be  a  right  com- 
modious instrument.     Vale. 


Table  of  all  the  principall 

matters  contained  in 
this  Booke. 

OF  the  diversities  of  common  wealthes  or  govemements.     Chapter  i. 
Pagina  9. 
What  is  just  or  Lawe  in  everie  common  wealth  or  governement.    cap.  2. 

pag.  10. 
An  other  division  of  common  wealthes.     chap.  3.  pag.  11. 

Example  of  chaunges  in  the  manner  of  governement  chap.  4.  pag.  13. 
Of  the  question  what  is  right  and  just  in  everie  common  wealth,    chap.  5. 

pag.  13. 
That  common  wealths  or  govemements  are  not  (most  commonly)  simple 

but  mixt.     chap.  6.  pag.  14. 

The  definition  of  a  King  and  of  a  Tyrant     chap.  7.^  pag.  14. 

Of  the  absolute  king.     chap.  8.  /  '  pag.  16. 

Of  the  name  king  and  the  administration  of  England,  chap.  9.  pag.  18. 
What  is  a  common  wealth,  and  the  partes  thereof,  chap.  10.  pag.  20. 
The   first   sort   or   beginning   of  an   house  or  familie  called  olnovofxia. 

chap.  11.  pag.  22. 

The   first   &    natural    beginning  of   a   kingdome,    in    Greeke    /3a<riAfia. 

chap.  12.  pag.  23. 

The  first  and  naturall  beginning  of  the  rule  of  a  fewe  of  the  best  men 

called  in  Greeke.  \\pio~roK.paria.     ca.  13.  pa.  25. 

The  first  originall  or  beginning  of  the  rule  of  the  multitude  called  HoXireia 

or  Ar)noKparla.     chap.  14.  pag.  26. 

That  the  common  wealth  or  policie  must  be  according  to  the  nature 

of  the  people,     chap.  15.  pag.  28. 

The  division  of  partes  and  persons  of  the  common  wealths,     chap.  16. 

pag.  29. 
The  first  part  of  Gentlemen  of  England  called  Nobilitas  major,     chap.  17. 

pag.  31. 
Of  the  second  sort  of  Gentlemen  of  England  called  Nobilitas  minor,  and 

first  of  knights,     chap.  18.  pag.  32. 



Of  Esquiers.     chap.  19.  pag.  37. 

Of  Gentlemen,     chap.  20.  pag.  38. 
Whether  the  maner  of  Englande  in  making  Gentlemen  so  easilie  is  to  be 

allowed,     chap.  21.  pag.  40. 

Of  Citizens  and  Burgesses,     chap.  22.  pag.  41. 

Of  Yeomen,     chap.  23.  pag.  42. 

Of  the  fourth  sort  of  men  which  do  not  rule.     ca.  24.  p.  46. 

The  second  booke. 

OF  the  Parliament  and  authoritie  therof.     ca.  1.  pa.  48. 

The  forme  of  holding  the  parliament,     ca.  2.  pa.  49. 

Of  the  Monarch,  King  or  Queene  of  England,     ca.  3.  p.  58. 

The  chiefe  points  wherein  one  common  wealth  doeth  differ  from  an  other. 

chap.  4.  pag.  63. 

Of  the  three  maners  and  formes  of  trials  or  judgements  in  England. 

chap.  5.  pag.  64. 

Triall  or  judgement  by  Parliament,     chap.  6.  pag.  ead. 

Triall  of  judgement  by  battle,     chap.  7.  pag.  ead. 

The  triall  by  Assise  or  xij.  men,  &  first  of  the  three  parts  which  be 

necessarie  in  judgement,     chap.  8.  pag.  65. 

Of  Pleas  or  A6lions.     chap.  9.  pag.  66. 

Of  the  chiefe  Tribunals,  Benches  or  Courtes  of  England,     chap.  10. 

pag.  68. 
Of  the  times  of  pleading  called  Termes,   and  of  the  Chauncellor  and 

Chauncerie.     chap.  11.  pag.  69. 

Of  Judges  in  the  common  lawe  of  Englande,  and  the  maner  of  triall  and 

pleading  there,     chap.  12.  pag.  72. 

Of  the  two  maner  of  issues,     chap.  13.  pag.  73. 

Of  the  Sheriffe  of  the  shire  and  of  the  Court  of  the  Escheker.     chap.  14. 

pag.  75- 
Of  the  xij.  men.     chap.  15.  pag.  78. 

Of  parts  of  Shires  called  hundreds,  lathes,  rapes,  wapentakes,     chap.  16. 

pag.  81. 
Of  the  Court  Baron,     chap.  17.  pag.  82. 

Of  the  Leete  or  Laweday.     chap.  18.  pag.  84. 



Of  the  proceedings  in  causes  criminall,  and  first  of  the  Justices  of  the 

peace,     chap.  19.  pag.  85. 

Of  hue  and  crie  and  recognisaunce  taking  upon  them  that  may  give 

evidence,     chap.  20.  pag.  90. 

Of  the  Coroner,     chap.  21.  pag.  91. 

Of  the  Constables,     chap.  22.  pag.  92. 

Of  the  sessions  of  gaole  deliverie,  &  the  definitive  proceedings  in  causes 

criminall.     chap.  23.  pag.  94. 

Certaine  orders  peculiar  to  England,  touching  punishment  of  malefaftors. 

chap.  24.  pag.  104. 

Of  treason  and  the  triall  which  is  used  for  the  higher  Nobilitie  and  Barons. 

chap.  25.  pag.  106. 

The  third  bookg. 

OF  that  which  in  other  countries  is  called  appellation  or  provocation, 
to  amend  the  judgement  or  sentence  definitive,  which  is  thought 
unjustly  given  in  causes  criminall.     chap.  1.  pag.  108. 

What  remedie  is  if  the  sentence  be  thought  unjustly  given,     chap.  2. 

pag.  no. 
Of  that  which  in  Englande  is  called  appeale,  in  other  places  accusation, 
chap.  3.  pag.  113. 

Of  the  Court  of  Starre  chamber,     chap.  4.  pag.  115. 

Of  the  Courts  of  Wards  and  Liveries,     chap.  5.  pag.  119. 

Of  Wives  and  mariages.     chap.  6.  pag.  123. 

Of  Children,     chap.  7.  pag.  128. 

Of  Bondage  and  bondmen,     chap.  8.  pag.  130. 

Of  the  court  which  is  Spiritual  or  Ecclesiasticall.  and  (in  the  booke  of 
Lawe)  Court  Christian,  or  Curia  Cbristianitatii .    chap.  9.     pag.  139. 





The  maner  of  governement  or 

policie  of  the  Realme  of 

Of  the  diversities  of  common 
wealthes  or  governement. 

Chap.  i. 

THey  that  have  written  heretofore  of  Common 
wealthes,  have  brought  them  into  three  most 
simple  and  speciall  kindes  or  fashions  of  governement. 
The  first  where  one  alone  doth  governe,  is  called  of 
the  Greekes  Moi/ap^ta,  the  second,  where  the  smaller 
number,  commonly  called  of  them  ' ApiaTOKparux^  and 
the  thirde  where  the  multitude  doth  rule  ArjfiofcpaTia. 
To  rule,  is  understoode  to  have  the  highest  and  su- 
preme authoritie  of  commaundement.  That  part  or 
member  of  the  common  wealth  is  saide  to  rule  which 
doth  controwle,  correct,  and  direct  all  other  members 
of  the  common  wealth.  That  part  which  doth  rule, 
define  and  commaund  according  to  the  forme  of  the 
governement,  is  taken  in  everie  common  wealth  to  be 
just  and  lawe  :  As  a  rule  is  alway  to  be  understoode 



to  be  straight,  and  to  which  all  workes  be  to  be  con- 
formed, and  by  it  to  be  judged  :  I  doe  not  meane  the 
Lesbians  rule  which  is  conformed  to  the  stone :  but 
the  right  rule  whereby  the  Artificer  and  the  Architect 
doe  judge  the  straightnesse  of  everie  mans  worke,  he  to 
be  reckoned  to  make  his  worke  perfectest,  who  goeth 
neerest  to  the  straightnesse. 

What  is  just  or  Lawe  in  everie  com- 
mon wealth  or  governement. 

Chap.  2. 

NOwe  it  doth  appeare,  that  it  is  profitable  to  everie 
common  wealth  (as  it  is  to  every  thing  generally 
and  particularly)  to  be  kept  in  her  most  perfect  estate. 
Then  if  that  part  which  doth  beare  the  rule,  doe 
commaund  that  which  is  profitable  to  it,  and  the 
commaundement  of  that  part  which  doeth  rule  on  that 
sort,  is  to  be  accepted  in  every  common  wealth  re- 
spectively to  be  just  (as  we  have  said  before) :  it  must 
needes  follow,  that  the  definition  which  Thrasimachus 
did  make,  that  to  be  just  which  is  the  profite  of  the 
ruling  and  most  strong  part  (if  it  be  meant  of  the 
Citie  or  common  wealth)  is  not  so  farre  out  of  the 
way,  (if  it  be  civillie  understoode)  as  Plato  would 
make  it.  But  as  there  is  profitable  and  likelyhoode  of 
profite,  so  there  is  right  and  likelyhoode  of  right.  And 
as  well  may  the  ruling  and  Soveraigne  part  com- 
maund that  which  is  not  his  profite,  as  the  just  man 
may  offend  (notwithstanding  his  just  and  true  meaning) 
when  he  would  amend  that  which  is  amisse,  and  helpe 
the  common  wealth,  and  doe  good  unto  it.  For  in 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

asmuch  as  he  attempteth  to  doe  contrarie  to  the  Lawe 
which  is  alreadie  put,  he  therefore  by  the  lawe  is 
justly  to  be  condemned,  because  his  doing  is  contrarie 
to  the  lawe  and  the  ordinance  of  that  part  which 
doth  commaunde. 

An  other  division  of  common  wealthes. 
Chap.  3. 

BUt  this  matter  yet  taketh  an  other  doubt :  for  of 
these  maner  of  rulinges  by  one,  by  the  fewer 
part,  and  by  the  multitude  or  greater  number,  they 
which  have  more  methodically  and  more  distinctly  and 
perfectly  written  upon  them,  doe  make  a  subdivision : 
and  dividing  eche  into  two,  make  the  one  good  and 
just,  and  the  other  evill  and  unjust :  as,  where  one 
ruleth,  the  one  they  call  a  king  or  Bao-tXei'?,  the 
other  Tvpavvos,  a  tyrant :  where  the  fewer  number, 
the  one  they  name  a  governing  of  the  best  men  dpc- 
a-TOKpariaVj  or  Kemp,  optimatum,  the  other  of  the 
usurping  of  a  few  Gentlemen,  or  a  few  of  the  richer 
and  stronger  sort  6\vyapxiav>  or  Paucorum  potestatem : 
and  where  the  multitude  doth  governe,  the  one  they 
call  a  common  wealth  by  the  generall  name  voXcTeiaVy 
or  the  rule  of  the  people  A^/xo/cpaTiav,  the  other  the 
rule  or  the  usurping  of  the  popular  or  rascall  and  viler 
sort,  because  they  be  moe  in  number  Arjfio/cpciTLav 



Example  of  chaunges  in  the  maner 

of  Governement. 
Chap.  4. 

IN  common  wealthes  which  have  had  long  con- 
tinuance, the  diversities  of  times  have  made  all 
these  maners  of  ruling  or  government  to  be  seene :  As 
in  Rome :  kinges,  Romulus,  Numa,  Servius  :  tyrantes, 
Tarquinius,  Sylla,  Casar  :  the  rule  of  best  men,  as  in 
time  when  the  first  Consuls  were :  and  the  usurping 
of  a  few,  as  of  the  Senators  after  the  death  of  Tarqui- 
niusy  and  before  the  succession  of  the  Tribunate,  and 
manifestly  in  the  Decemvirate,  but  more  perniciously 
in  the  Triumvirate  of  Ccesar,  Crassus,  and  Pompeius  : 
and  afterwarde  in  the  Triumvirate  of  Octavius,  Anto- 
nius,  and  Lepidus  :  The  common  wealth  and  rule  of 
the  people,  as  in  the  expulsing  of  the  decemviri  and 
long  after,  especially  after  the  law  was  made,  either 
by  Horatius,  or  (as  some  would  have  it)  Hortentius, 
quod  plebs  sciverit,  id  populum  teneat :  And  the  ruling 
and  usurping  of  the  popular  and  rascall,  as  a  litle  before 
Scylla  his  reigne,  and  a  litle  before  Caius  C&sars  reigne. 
For  the  usurping  of  the  rascality  can  never  long  en- 
dure, but  necessarily  breedeth,  and  quickly  bringeth 
forth  a  tyrant.  Of  this,  hath  Athens,  Syracuse,  Lace- 
demon  and  other  old  auncient  ruling  Cities  had  ex- 
perience, and  a  man  neede  not  doubt  but  that  other 
common  wealthes  have  followed  the  same  rate.  For 
the  nature  of  man  is  never  to  stand  still  in  one  maner 
of  estate,  but  to  grow  from  the  lesse  to  the  more, 
and  decay  from  the  more  againe  to  the  lesse,  till  it 
come  to  the  fatall  end  and  destruction,  with  many 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

turnes  and  turmoyles  of  sicknesse  and  recovering,  sel- 
dome  standing  in  a  perfect  health,  neither  of  a  mans 
bodie  it  selfe,  nor  of  the  politique  bodie  which  is  com- 
pact of  the  same. 

Of  the  question  what  is  right  and  just  in 
everie  common  wealth. 

Chap.  5. 

SO  when  the  common  wealth  is  evill  governed  by 
an  evill  ruler  and  unjust  (as  in  the  three  last 
named  which  be  rather  a  sickenesse  of  the  politique  bodie 
than  perfect  and  good  estates)  if  the  lawes  be  made, 
as  most  like  they  be  alwayes  to  maintaine  that  estate : 
the  question  remaineth  whether  the  obedience  of  them 
be  just,  and  the  disobedience  wrong :  the  profit  and 
conservation  of  that  estate  right  and  justice,  or  the 
dissolution  :  and  whether  a  good  and  upright  man,  and 
lover  of  his  countrie  ought  to  maintaine  and  obey 
them,  or  to  seeke  by  all  meanes  to  abolish  them,  which 
great  and  hautie  courages  have  often  attempted :  as 
Dion  to  rise  up  against  Dionysius,  Thrasibulus  against 
the  xxx.  tyrantes,  Brutus  and  Casstus  against  Ceesar, 
which  hath  bin  cause  of  many  commotions  in  common 
wealthes,  whereof  the  judgement  of  the  common 
people  is  according  to  the  event  and  successe  :  of  them 
which  be  learned,  according  to  the  purpose  of  the 
doers,  and  the  estate  of  the  time  then  present.  Cer- 
taine  it  is  that  it  is  alwayes  a  doubtfull  and  hasardous 
matter  to  meddle  with  the  chaunging  of  the  lawes 
and  governement,  or  to  disobey  the  orders  of  the  rule 
or  government,  which  a  man  doth  finde  alreadie 



That  common  wealthes  or  governements 

are  not  most  commonly  simple  but  mixt. 
Chap.  6. 

NOw  although  the  governements  of  common 
wealthes  be  thus  divided  into  three,  and  cutting 
ech  into  two,  so  into  sixe  :  yet  you  must  not  take  that 
ye  shall  finde  any  common  wealth  or  governement 
simple,  pure  and  absolute  in  his  sort  and  kinde,  but  as 
wise  men  have  divided  for  understandinges  sake  and 
fantasied  iiij.  simple  bodies  which  they  call  elementes, 
as  fire,  ayre,  water,  earth,  and  in  a  mans  bodie  foure 
complexions  or  temperatures,  as  cholericke,  sanguine, 
phlegmatique,  and  melancolique :  not  that  ye  shall 
finde  the  one  utterly  perfect  without  mixtion  of  the 
other,  for  that  nature  almost  will  not  suffer,  but  under- 
standing doth  discerne  ech  nature  as  in  his  sinceritie: 
so  seldome  or  never  shall  you  finde  common  wealthes 
or  governement  which  is  absolutely  and  sincerely  made 
of  any  of  them  above  named,  but  alwayes  mixed  with 
an  other,  and  hath  the  name  of  that  which  is  more 
and  overruleth  the  other  alwayes  or  for  the  most  part. 

The  definition  of  a  king  and  of  a  tyrant. 

Chap.  7. 

WHere  one  person  beareth  the  rule  they  define 
that  to  be  the  estate  of  a  king,  who  by  suc- 
cession or  election  commeth  with  the  good  will  of  the 
people  to  that  governement,  and  doth  administer  the 
common  wealth  by  the  lawes  of  the  same  and  by 
equitie,  and  doth  seeke  the  profit  of  the  people  as  much 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

as  his  owne.  A  tyraunt  they  name  him,  who  by  force 
commeth  to  the  Monarchy  against  the  will  of  the  people, 
breaketh  lawes  alreadie  made  at  his  pleasure,  maketh 
other  without  the  advise  and  consent  of  the  people, 
and  regardeth  not  the  wealth  of  his  communes  but 
the  advancement  of  him  selfe,  his  faction,  and  kindred. 
These  definitions  do  containe  three  differences:  the 
obtaining  of  the  authoritie,  the  maner  of  administra- 
tion thereof,  and  the  butte  or  marke  whereunto  it 
doth  tend  and  shoote.  So  as  one  may  be  a  tyrant  by 
his  entrie  and  getting  of  the  governement,  and  a  king 
in  the  administration  thereof.  As  a  man  may  thinke 
of  Octavius  and  peradventure  of  Sylla.  For  they  both 
comming  by  tyranny  and  violence  to  that  state,  did 
seeme  to  travaile  verie  much  for  the  better  order  of 
the  common  wealth,  howbeit  either  of  them  after 
a  diverse  maner.  An  other  may  be  a  king  by  entrie, 
and  a  tyrant  by  administration,  as  Nero,  Domitian,  and 
Commodus:  for  the  empire  came  to  them  by  succession, 
but  their  administration  was  utterly  tyrannicall,  of  Nero 
after  five  yeares,  of  Domitian  and  Commodus  very  shortly 
upon  their  new  honour.  Some  both  in  the  comming 
to  their  Empire,  and  in  the  butte  which  they  shoote 
at,  be  kings,  but  the  maner  of  their  ruling  is  tyran- 
nicall: as  many  Emperous  after  Casar  and  Octavius, 
and  many  Popes  of  Rome.  The  Emperours  claime 
this  tyrannicall  power  by  pretence  of  that  Rogation 
or  plebiscitum,  which  Caius  Casar  or  Octavius  obtained, 
by  which  all  the  people  of  Rome  did  conferre  their 
power  and  authority  unto  Caesar  wholly. 

The  Pope  groundeth  his  from  Christ  (cut  omnis 
potestas  data  est  in  coelo  et  in  terra)  whose  successor  he 
pretendeth  to  be:   yet  the  generall  Councels  make  a 



strife  with  him,  to  make  the  Popes  power  either 
Aristocratian  or  at  the  least  legitimum  regnum,  and  would 
faine  bridle  that  absolutam  potestatem.  Some  men  doe 
judge  the  same  of  the  kinges  of  Fraunce,  and  certaine 
Princes  of  Italie  and  other  places,  because  they  make 
and  abrogate  lawes  and  edictes,  lay  on  tributs  and 
impositions  of  their  own  will,  or  by  the  private 
Counsell  and  advise  of  their  friends  and  favorites 
onely,  without  the  consent  of  the  people.  The  people 
I  call  that  which  the  word  populus  doth  signifie,  the 
whole  body  and  the  three  estates  of  the  common 
wealth:  and  they  blame  Lewes  the  xi.  for  bringing 
the  adminstration  royall  of  Fraunce,  from  the  lawful 
and  regulate  raigne,  to  the  absolute  and  tyrannicall 
power  and  governement.  He  himselfe  was  wont  to 
glory  and  say,  he  had  brought  the  crowne  of  Fraunce 
bors  de  page,  as  one  would  say  out  of  Wardship. 

Of  the  absolute  King. 

Chap.  8. 

OTher  do  call  that  kinde  of  administration  which 
the  Greekes  do  call,  irafifiaaiXeiav,  not  tyran- 
ny, but  the  absolute  power  of  a  King,  which  they 
would  pretende  that  everie  King  hath,  if  he  would  use 
the  same.  The  other  they  call  ftaaikelav  vofu/crjv 
or  the  Royall  power  regulate  by  lawes :  of  this  I  will 
not  dispute  at  this  time.  But  as  such  absolute  ad- 
ministration in  time  of  warre  when  all  is  in  armes, 
and  when  lawes  hold  their  peace  because  they  cannot 
be  heard,  is  most  necessarie:  so  in  time  of  peace,  the 
same  is  verie  daungerous,  aswell  to  him  that  doth  use 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

it,  and  much  more  to  the  people  upon  whom  it  is 
used :  whereof  the  cause  is  the  frailtie  of  mans  nature, 
which  (as  Plato  saith)  cannot  abide  or  beare  long  that 
absolute  and  uncontrowled  authoritie,  without  swelling 
into  too  much  pride  and  insolencie.  And  therefore  the 
Romanes  did  wisely,  who  woulde  not  suffer  any  man 
to  keepe  the  Dictatorship  above  sixe  monethes,  because 
the  Dictators  (for  that  time)  had  this  absolute  power, 
which  some  Greekes  named  a  lawfull  tyrannie  for  a 
time.  As  I  remember,  Aristotle,  (who  of  all  writers 
hath  most  absolutely  and  methodically  treated  of  the 
division  and  natures  of  common  wealthes)  maketh  this 
sort  of  government  to  be  one  kind  of  kings.  But  all 
commeth  to  one  effect :  for  at  the  first,  all  kinges  ruled 
absolutely,  as  they  who  were  either  the  heades  and 
most  ancient  of  their  families,  derived  out  of  their 
own  bodies,  as  Adam,  Noa,  Abraham,  "Jacob,  Esau, 
reigning  absolutely  over  their  owne  children  and  bond- 
men as  reason  was :  or  else  in  the  rude  world  amongest 
barbarous  and  ignorant  people,  some  one  then  whom 
God  had  endewed  with  singular  wisedome  to  invent 
thinges  necessary  for  the  nourishing  and  defence  of  the 
multitude,  and  to  administer  justice  did  so  farre  excell 
other,  that  all  the  rest  were  but  beastes  in  comparison 
of  him,  and  for  that  excellencie  willingly  had  this 
authoritie  given  him  of  the  multitude,  and  of  the 
Gentils  when  he  was  dead  and  almost  when  he  was 
yet  living,  was  taken  for  a  God,  of  others  for  a  Pro- 
phet. Such  among  the  Jewes  were  Moses,  Josua,  and 
the  other  Judges,  as  Samuel,  &c.  Romulus  and  Numa 
amongest  the  Romanes,  Lycurgus  and  Solon  and  diverse 
other  among  the  Greekes,  Zamolxis  among  the  Thra- 
cians,  Mahomet  among  the  Arabians:  And  this  kinde 

b  17 


of  rule  among  the  Greekes  is  called  rvpavvi<i,  which 
of  it  selfe  at  the  first  was  not  a  name  odious:  But 
because  they  who  had  such  rule,  at  the  first,  did  for 
the  most  part  abuse  the  same,  waxed  insolent  and 
proude,  unjust  and  not  regarding  the  common  wealth, 
committed  such  actes  as  were  horrible  and  odious,  as 
killing  men  without  cause,  abusing  their  wives  and 
daughters,  taking  and  spoyling  all  mens  goods  at  their 
pleasures,  and  were  not  shepheardes  as  they  ought  to 
be,  but  rather  robbers  and  devourers  of  the  people, 
wherof  some  were  contemners  of  God,  as  Dionysius, 
other  while  they  lyved  like  divils,  and  would  yet  be 
adored  and  accompted  for  Gods,  as  Caius  Caligula  and 
Domitian  :  that  kind  of  administration  and  maner  also, 
at  the  first  not  evill,  hath  taken  the  signification  and 
definition  of  the  vice  of  the  abusers,  so  that  now  both 
in  Greeke,  Latine,  and  English  a  tyrant  is  counted  he, 
who  is  an  evill  king,  and  who  hath  no  regard  to  the 
wealth  of  his  people,  but  seeketh  onely  to  magnifie 
himselfe  and  his,  and  to  satisfie  his  vicious  and  cruell 
appetite,  without  respect  of  God,  of  right  or  of  the 
law:  because  that  for  the  most  part  they  who  have 
Jiad  that  absolute  power  have  beene  such. 

Of  the  name  king  and  thadministra- 

tion  of  Englande. 
Chap.  9. 

THat  which  we  call  in  one  syllable  king  in  english, 
the  olde  english  men  and  the  Saxons  from 
whom  our  tongue  is  derived  to  this  day  calleth  in 
two  syllabes  cyningy  which  whether  it  cometh  of  cen 
or  ken  which  betokeneth  to  know  and  understand,  or 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

can,  which  betokeneth  to  be  able  or  to  have  power, 
I  can  not  tell.  The  participle  absolute  of  thone  we 
use  yet,  as  when  we  say  a  cunning  man,  Fir  prudens 
aut  sciens :  the  verbe  of  thother  as  I  can  do  this,  possum 
hoc  facere.  By  olde  and  auncient  histories  that  I  have 
red,  I  do  not  understand  that  our  nation  hath  used 
any  other  generall  authoritie  in  this  realme  neither 
Aristocratically  nor  Democratically  but  onely  the  royall 
and  kingly  majestie  which  at  the  first  was  divided  into 
many  and  sundrie  kinges,  each  absolutely  reigning  in 
his  countrie,  not  imder  the  subjection  of  other,  till  by 
fighting  thone  with  thother,  the  overcommed  alwayes 
falling  to  the  augmentation  of  the  vanquisher  and 
overcommer,  at  the  last  the  realme  of  England  grew 
into  one  Monarchic  Neither  any  one  of  those 
kinges,  neither  he  who  first  had  all,  tooke  any  in- 
vestiture at  the  hand  of  Themperour  of  Rome  or  of 
any  other  superiour  or  forraine  prince,  but  helde 
of  God  to  himselfe,  and  by  his  sword  his  people 
and  crowne,  acknowledging  no  prince  in  earth  his 
superiour,  and  so  it  is  kept  and  holden  at  this  day. 
Although  king  John  (by  the  rebellion  of  the  nobilitie 
ayded  with  the  daulphin  of  Fraunce  his  power)  to 
appease  the  Pope  who  at  that  time  possessing  the 
consciences  of  his  subjectes  was  then  also  his  enemy 
and  his  most  greevous  torment  (as  some  histories  do 
write)  did  resigne  the  crowne  to  his  legate  Pandulphus, 
and  tooke  it  againe  from  him  as  from  the  Pope  by 
faith  and  homage,  and  a  certain  tribute  yearly.  But 
that  act  being  neither  approoved  by  his  people,  nor 
established  by  act  of  parliament,  was  forthwith  and 
ever  sithens  taken  for  nothing,  either  to  binde  the  king, 
his  successors  or  subjectes. 

B2  19 

What  is  a  common  wealth,  and  the 

partes  thereof. 
Chap.  io. 

TO  be  better  understood  hereafter,  it  is  necessarie 
yet  to  make  a  third  division  of  the  common 
wealth  by  the  partes  thereof.  A  common  wealth  is 
called  a  society  or  common  doing  of  a  multitude  of 
free  men  collected  together  and  united  by  common 
accord  and  covenauntes  among  themselves,  for  the 
conservation  of  themselves  aswell  in  peace  as  in  warre. 
For  properly  an  host  of  men  is  not  called  a  common 
wealth  but  abusively,  because  they  are  collected  but 
for  a  time  and  for  a  fact:  which  done,  ech  divideth 
himselfe  from  others  as  they  were  before.  And  if  one 
man  had  as  some  of  the  old  Romanes  had  (if  it  be 
true  that  is  written)  v.  thousande  or  x.  thousande 
bondmen  whom  he  ruled  well,  though  they  dwelled 
all  in  one  citie,  or  were  distributed  into  diverse 
villages,  yet  that  were  no  common  wealth :  for  the 
bondman  hath  no  communion  with  his  master,  the 
wealth  of  the  Lord  is  onely  sought  for,  and  not 
the  profit  of  the  slave  or  bondman.  For  as  they  who 
write  of  these  thinges  have  defined,  a  bondman  or  a 
slave  is  as  it  were  (saving  life  and  humane  reason)  but 
the  instrument  of  his  Lord,  as  the  axe,  the  sawe,  the 
chessyll  and  gowge  is  of  the  charpenter.  Truth  it 
is  the  charpenter  looketh  diligently  to  save,  correct  and 
amend  all  these:  but  it  is  for  his  own  profit,  and  in 
consideration  of  him  selfe,  not  for  the  instrumentes  sake. 
And  as  these  be  instruments  of  the  charpenter,  so  the 
plow,  the  cart,  the  horse,  oxe  or  asse,  be  instrumentes 


ANGLO  RUM     LIB.   i. 

of  the  husbandman :  and  though  one  husbandman  had 
a  great  number  of  all  those  and  looked  well  to  them, 
it  made  no  common  wealth  nor  could  not  so  be  called. 
For  the  private  wealth  of  the  husbandman  is  onely 
regarded,  and  there  is  no  mutuall  societie  or  portion, 
no  law  or  pleading  betweene  thone  and  thother.  And 
(as  he  sayth)  what  reason  hath  the  pot  to  say  to  the 
potter,  why  madest  thou  me  thus?  or  why  dost  thou 
break  me  after  thou  hast  made  me?  even  so  is  the 
bondman  or  slave  which  is  bought  for  monie:  for  he 
is  but  a  reasonable  and  lyving  instrument  the  possession 
of  his  Lorde  and  master,  reckoned  among  his  goods, 
not  otherwise  admitted  to  the  societie  civill  or  common 
wealth,  but  is  part  of  the  possession  and  goods  of  his 
Lorde.  Wherefore  except  there  be  other  orders  and 
administrations  amonst  the  Turks,  if  the  prince  of 
the  Turkes  (as  it  is  written  of  him)  doe  repute  all 
other  his  bondmen  and  slaves  (him  selfe  and  his  sonnes 
onely  freemen)  a  man  may  doubt  whether  his  ad- 
ministration be  to  be  accompted  a  common  wealth  or 
a  kingdome,  or  rather  to  be  reputed  onely  as  one  that 
hath  under  him  an  infinite  number  of  slaves  or  bond- 
men among  whom  there  is  no  right,  law  nor  common 
wealth  compact,  but  onely  the  will  of  the  Lorde  and 
segnior.  Surely  none  of  the  olde  Greekes  would  call 
this  fashion  of  government  Remp.  or  TroXirelav  for 
the  reasons  which  I  have  declared  before. 



The  first  sort  or  beginning  of  an  house 

or  familie  called  otKovofiia. 
Chap.  ii. 

THen  if  this  be  a  societie,  and  consisteth  onely  of 
freemen,  the  least  part  therof  must  be  of  two. 
The  naturalest  and  first  conjunction  of  two  toward 
the  making  of  a  further  societie  of  continuance  is  of 
the  husband  and  of  the  wife  after  a  diverse  sorte  ech 
having  care  of  the  familie :  the  man  to  get,  to  travaile 
abroad,  to  defender  the  wife,  to  save  that  which  is 
gotten,  to  tarrie  at  home  to  distribute  that  which 
commeth  of  the  husbandes  labor  for  the  nurtriture  of 
the  children  and  family  of  them  both,  and  to  keepe 
all  at  home  neat  and  cleane.  So  nature  hath  forged 
ech  part  to  his  office,  the  man  sterne,  strong,  bould, 
adventerous,  negligent  of  his  beautie,  and  spending. 
The  women  weake,  fearefull,  faire,  curious  of  her 
bewtie  and  saving.  Either  of  them  excelling  other 
in  wit  and  wisedome  to  conduct  those  thinges  which 
appertaine  to  their  office,  and  therefore  where  their 
wisedome  doth  excell,  therein  it  is  reason  that  ech 
should  governe.  And  without  this  societie  of  man, 
and  woman,  the  kinde  of  man  coulde  not  long  endure. 
And  to  this  societie  men  are  so  naturally  borne  that 
the  prince  of  all  Philosophers  in  consideration  of 
natures  was  not  afraide  to  say  that  a  man  by  nature 
is  rather  desirous  to  fellow  himselfe  to  another  and  so 
to  live  in  couple,  than  to  adherd  himselfe  with  many. 
Although  of  all  thinges  or  lyuing  creatures  a  man  doth 
shew  him  selfe  most  politique,  yet  can  he  not  well  live 
without  the  societie  and  fellowship  ciuill.  He  that  can 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

live  alone  saith  Aristotle  is  either  a  wild  beast  in 
a  mans  likenes,  or  else  a  god  rather  than  a  man.  So 
in  the  house  and  familie  is  the  first  and  most  naturall 
(but  private)  apparance  of  one  of  the  best  kindes  of 
a  common  wealth,  that  is  called  Aristocratia  where 
a  few  and  the  best  doe  governe,  and  where  not  one 
alwaies:  but  sometime  and  in  some  thing  one,  and 
sometime  and  in  some  thing  another  doth  beare  the 
rule.  Which  to  maintaine  for  his  part  God  hath 
given  to  the  man  great  wit,  bigger  strength,  and  more 
courage  to  compell  the  woman  to  obey  by  reason  or 
force,  and  to  the  woman  bewtie,  faire  countenaunce, 
and  sweete  wordes  to  make  the  man  to  obey  her  againe 
for  love.  Thus  ech  obeyeth  and  commaundeth  other, 
and  they  two  togeather  rule  the  house.  The  house 
I  call  here  the  man,  the  woman,  their  children,  their 
servauntes  bonde  and  free,  their  cattell,  their  hous- 
holde  stuffe,  and  all  other  things,  which  are  reckoned 
in  their  possession,  so  long  as  all  these  remaine 
togeather  in  one,  yet  this  cannot  be  called  Aristocratia^ 
but  Metaphorice,  for  it  is  but  an  house,  and  a  litle  sparke 
resembling  as  it  were  that  governement. 

The  first  and  naturall  beginning  of  a 

kingdome  in  Greeke  /3a<Ti\eia. 
Chap.  12. 

BUt  for  so  much  as  it  is  the  nature  of  all  thinges 
to  encrease  or  decrease,  this  house  thus  en- 
creasing  and  multiplying  by  generation,  so  that  it 
cannot  wel  be  comprehended  in  one  habitation,  and 
the  children  waxing  bigger,  stronger,  wiser,  and  there- 



upon  naturally  desirous  to  rule,  the  father  and  mother 
sendeth  them  out  in  couples  as  it  were  by  provining 
or  propagation.  And  the  childe  by  manage  beginneth 
as  it  were  to  roote  towards  the  making  of  a  new 
stocke,  and  thereupon  an  other  house  or  familie.  So 
by  this  propagation  or  provining  first  of  one,  and 
then  another,  and  so  from  one  to  another  in  space  of 
time,  of  many  howses  was  made  a  streete  or  village, 
of  many  streetes  and  villages  joyned  together  a  citie  or 
borough.  And  when  many  cities,  boroughes  and 
villages  were  by  common  and  mutuall  consent  for 
their  conservation  ruled  by  that  one  and  first  father 
of  them  all,  it  was  called  a  nation  or  kingdome.  And 
this  seemeth  the  first  and  most  natural  beginning  and 
source  of  cities,  townes,  nations,  kingdomes,  and  of  all 
civill  societies.  For  so  long  as  the  great  grandfather 
was  alive  and  able  to  rule,  it  was  unnaturall  for  any 
of  his  sonnes  or  ofspring  to  strive  with  him  for  the 
superioritie,  or  to  go  about  to  governe  or  any  wise  to 
dishonour  him  from  whom  he  had  received  life  and 
being.  And  therefore  such  a  one  doth  beare  the  first 
and  natural  example  of  an  absolute  and  perfect  king. 
For  he  loved  them  as  his  owne  children  and  nephewes, 
cared  for  them  as  members  of  his  owne  body,  provided 
for  them  as  one  having  by  long  time  more  experience 
than  any  one  or  all  of  them.  They  againe  honoured 
him  as  their  father  of  whose  bodie  they  came,  obeyed 
him  for  his  great  wisedome  and  forecast,  went  to  him 
in  doubtfull  cases  as  to  an  oracle  of  God,  feared  his 
curse  and  malediction  as  proceeding  from  Gods  owne 
mouth.  He  againe  used  noriture:  for  ech  paine  put 
upon  them,  he  esteemed  as  laide  upon  himselfe. 


ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

The  first  and  naturall  beginning  of  the  rule 

of  a  few  of  the  best  men  called  in  Greeke 


Chap.  13. 

BUt  when  that  great  grandfather  was  dead,  the 
sonnes  of  him  and  brethren  among  themselves 
not  having  that  reverence  to  any,  nor  confidence  of 
wisedome  in  any  one  of  them,  nor  that  trust  thone 
to  thother,  betweene  whome  (as  many  times  it  fareth 
with  brethren)  some  strifes  and  brawlinges  had  before 
arisen  :  To  defende  themselves  yet  from  them  which 
were  walsh  and  strangers,  necessarily  agreed  among 
themselves  to  consult  in  common,  and  to  beare  rule 
for  a  time  in  order,  now  one,  now  another:  so  that 
no  one  might  beare  alwaies  the  rule,  nor  any  one  be 
neglected.  And  by  this  meanes  if  anie  one  fayled 
during  his  yere  or  time  by  ignoraunce,  the  next  (being 
either  wiser  of  himselfe,  or  else  by  his  brothers  error 
and  fault)  amended  it.  And  in  the  meane  while,  at 
diverse  and  most  times  when  urgent  necessitie  did 
occurre,  they  consulted  all  those  heads  of  families 
together  within  themselves,  howe  to  demeane  and  order 
their  matters,  best  for  the  conservation  of  themselves,  and 
ech  of  their  families,  generally  and  particularly.  Thus 
a  few  being  heades  and  the  chiefe  of  their  families, 
equall  in  birth  and  nobilitie,  and  not  much  different 
in  riches,  governed  their  owne  houses  and  the  descen- 
dentes  of  them  particularly,  and  consulted  in  common 
upon  publike  causes,  agreeing  also  upon  certaine  lawes 
and  orders  to  be  kept  amongst  them.     So  the  best, 



chiefest  and  sagest  did  rule,  and  thother  part  had  no 
cause  to  strive  with  them,  nor  had  no  cause  nor 
apparance  to  compare  with  anie  of  them,  neither  for 
age  nor  discretion,  nor  for  riches  or  nobilitie.  The 
rulers  sought  ech  to  keepe  and  maintaine  their 
posteritie,  as  their  sonnes  and  nephewes,  and  such  as 
shoulde  succeede  them  and  carie  their  names  when 
they  were  deade,  and  so  render  them  being  mortall 
by  nature  immortall  by  their  fame  and  succession  of 
posteritie :  having  most  earnest  care  to  maintaine  still 
this  their  cousinage  and  common  familie  aswell  against 
forraigne  and  barbarous  nations,  which  were  not  of 
their  progenie,  tongue,  or  religion,  as  against  wilde  and 
savage  beasts.  This  seemeth  the  naturall  source  and 
beginning  or  image  of  that  rule  of  the  fewer  number, 
which  is  called  of  the  Greekes  ApicrroKparela  and  of 
the  Latines  optimatum  respubltca. 

The  first  originall  or  beginning  of  the  rule 

of  the  multitude  called  iroXtTeia  or  ArjfxoKparla. 
Chap.  14. 

NOw  as  time  bringeth  an  ende  of  all  thinges, 
these  brethren  being  all  dead,  and  their  ofspring 
encreasing  daily  to  a  great  multitude,  and  the  reverence 
due  the  old  fathers  in  such  and  so  great  number  of 
equals  fayling  by  the  reason  of  the  death  or  doting 
of  the  Elders:  eche  owing  their  merites  of  education 
apart  to  their  fathers  and  grandfathers,  and  so  many 
arising  and  such  equalitie  among  them,  it  was  not 
possible  that  they  should  be  content  to  be  governed 
by  a  fewe.  For  two  things  being  such  as  for  the 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

which  men  in  society  and  league  doe  most  strive,  that 
is  honour  and  profitte  no  man  of  free  courage  can  be 
contented  to  be  neglected  therein,  so  that  they  were 
faine  of  necessitie  to  come  to  that,  that  the  more  part 
should  beare  the  price  away  in  election  of  magistrates 
and  rulers.  So  that  either  by  course  or  by  lot  ech 
man  in  turne  might  be  receaved  to  beare  rule  and  have 
his  part  of  the  honour,  and  (if  any  were)  of  the  profit, 
which  came  by  administration  of  the  common  wealth. 
For  whosoever  came  of  that  old  great  grandfathers 
race,  he  accompted  him  selfe  as  good  of  birth  as  any 
other.  For  service  to  the  common  wealth  all  or  such 
a  number  had  done  it,  as  they  coulde  not  be  accompted 
few.  And  if  a  few  would  take  upon  them  to  usurpe 
over  the  rest,  the  rest  conspiring  together  would  soone 
be  master  over  them,  and  ruinate  them  wholly.  Where- 
upon necessarily  it  came  to  passe  that  the  common 
wealth  must  turne  and  alter  as  before  from  one  to  a 
few,  so  now  from  a  few  to  many  and  the  most  part, 
ech  of  these  yet  willing  to  save  the  politicke  bodie,  to 
conserve  the  authoritie  of  their  nation,  to  defende  them- 
selves against  all  other,  their  strife  being  onely  for 
empire  and  rule,  and  who  should  doe  best  for  the 
common  wealth,  wherof  they  would  have  experience 
made  by  bearing  office  and  being  magistrates.  This 
I  take  for  the  first  and  naturall  beginning  of  the  rule 
of  the  multitude  which  the  Greekes  called  Arjfio- 
Kparla:  the  Latines  some  Respublica  by  the  generall 
name,  some  populi  potestas,  some  census  potestas,  I  cannot 
tell  howe  latinely. 



That  the  common  wealth  or  policie  must 

be  according  to  the  nature  of  the  people. 
Chap.  15. 

BY  this  processe  and  discourse  it  doth  appeare  that 
the  mutations  and  changes  of  fashions  of  governe- 
ment  in  common  wealthes  be  naturall,  and  do  not 
alwayes  come  of  ambition  or  malice:  And  that  ac- 
cording to  the  nature  of  the  people,  so  the  common- 
wealth is  to  it  fit  and  proper.  And  as  all  these  iii. 
kindes  of  common  wealthes  are  naturall,  so  when  to 
ech  partie  or  espece  and  kinde  of  the  people  that  is 
applied  which  best  agreeth  like  a  garment  to  the  bodie 
or  shoe  to  the  foote,  then  the  bodie  politique  is  in 
quiet,  and  findeth  ease,  pleasure  and  profit.  But  if 
a  contrary  forme  be  given  to  a  contrary  maner  of 
people,  as  when  the  shoe  is  too  litle  or  too  great  for 
the  foote,  it  doth  hurt  and  encomber  the  convenient 
use  thereof,  so  the  free  people  of  nature  tyrannized  or 
ruled  by  one  against  their  willes,  were  he  never  so 
good,  either  faile  of  corage  and  wexe  servile,  or  never 
rest  untill  they  either  destroie  their  king  and  them  that 
would  subdue  them,  or  be  destroyed  themselves:  And 
againe  another  sort  there  is  which  without  being  ruled 
by  one  prince  but  set  at  libertie  cannot  tell  what  they 
shoulde  doe,  but  either  through  insolencie,  pride,  and 
idlenes  will  fall  to  robbery  and  all  mischiefe,  and  to 
scatter  and  dissolve  themselves,  or  with  foolish  ambition 
and  private  strife  consume  one  another  and  bring 
themselves  to  nothing.  Of  both  these  two  we  have 
histories  enough  to  beare  witnesse,  as  the  Greekes, 
Romanes,  Samnites,  Danes,  Vandals,  and  others.  Yet 
must  you  not  thinke,  that  al  common  wealthes,  ad- 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  i. 

ministrations  and  rulinges  began  on  this  sort,  by 
provining  or  propagation,  as  is  before  written,  but 
many  times  after  a  great  battle  and  long  war  the 
captaine  who  led  a  multitude  of  people,  gathered 
peradventure  of  diverse  nations  and  languages,  liking 
the  place  which  he  hath  by  force  conquered,  tarieth 
there,  and  beginneth  a  common  wealth  after  this 
maner,  and  for  the  most  part  a  kingdome.  As  the 
Gothes  and  Lumbardes  in  Italie,  the  Frenchmen  in 
Gaule,  the  Sarasins  in  Spaine  and  part  of  Fraunce, 
the  Saxons  in  great  Brittaine,  which  is  nowe  called 
Englande:  of  which  when  that  one  and  chiefe  prince 
is  dead,  the  nobler  sort  consult  among  themselves, 
and  either  choose  an  other  head  and  king,  or  divide 
it  into  more  heads  and  rulers,  so  did  the  Lumbards 
in  Italie,  and  the  Saxons  in  England,  or  take  at  the 
first  a  common  rule  and  popular  estate,  as  the  Zwisers 
did  in  their  cantons  and  do  yet  at  this  day,  or  else 
admit  the  rule  of  a  certaine  fewe,  excluding  the  multi- 
tude and  communaltie,  as  the  Paduans,  Veronenses, 
and  Venetians  have  accustomed. 

The  division  of  the  parts  and  persons 
of  the  common  wealth. 

Chap.  16. 

TO  make  all  thinges  yet  cleare  before,  as  we  shal 
go,  there  ariseth  another  division  of  the  partes 
of  the  common  wealth.  For  it  is  not  enough  to  say 
that  it  consisteth  of  a  multitude  of  houses  and  families 
which  make  stretes  and  villages,  and  the  multitude  of 
the  stretes  and  villages  make  townes,  and  the  multi- 
tude  of    townes    the    realme,    and    that    freemen    be 



considered  only  in  this  behalf,  as  subjects  and  citizens 
of  the  commonwealth,  and  not  bondmen  who  can 
beare  no  rule  nor  jurisdiction  over  freemen,  as  they 
who  be  taken  but  as  instruments  and  the  goods  and 
possessions  of  others.  In  which  consideration  also  we 
do  reject  women,  as  those  whom  nature  hath  made  to 
keepe  home  and  to  nourish  their  familie  and  children, 
and  not  to  medle  with  matters  abroade,  nor  to  beare 
office  in  a  citie  or  common  wealth  no  more  than 
children  and  infantes:  except  it  be  in  such  cases  as 
the  authoritie  is  annexed  to  the  bloud  and  progenie, 
as  the  crowne,  a  dutchie,  or  an  erledome  for  there 
the  blood  is  respected,  not  the  age  nor  the  sexe. 
Whereby  an  absolute  Queene,  an  absolute  Dutches  or 
Countesse,  those  I  call  absolute,  v/hich  have  the  name, 
not  by  being  maried  to  a  king,  duke,  or  erle,  but  by 
being  the  true,  right  and  next  successors  in  the  dignitie, 
and  upon  whom  by  right  of  the  blood  that  title  is 
descended :  These  I  say  have  the  same  authoritie 
although  they  be  women  or  children  in  that  kingdome, 
dutchie  or  earledome,  as  they  shoulde  have  had  if  they 
had  bin  men  of  full  age.  For  the  right  and  honour 
of  the  blood,  and  the  quietnes  and  suertie  of  the 
realme,  is  more  to  be  considered,  than  either  the  tender 
age  as  yet  impotent  to  rule,  or  the  sexe  not  accustomed 
(otherwise)  to  intermeddle  with  publicke  affaires,  being 
by  common  intendment  understood,  that  such  person- 
ages never  do  lacke  the  counsell  of  such  grave  and 
discreete  men  as  be  able  to  supplie  all  other  defectes. 
This  (as  I  sayde)  is  not  enough :  But  the  division  of 
these  which  be  participant  of  the  common  wealth  is 
one  way  of  them  that  beare  office,  tlje  other  of  them 
that  beare  none:    the  first  are  called  magistrates,  the 


ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

second  private  men.  Another  the  like  was  among 
the  Romanes  of  Patr'ttij  and  p/tbei,  thone  striving  with 
thother  a  long  time,  the  patricij  many  yeares  ex- 
cluding the  plebei  from  bearing  rule,  untill  at  last  all 
magistrates  were  made  common  between  them:  yet 
was  there  another  division  of  the  Romanes  into 
senatoresy  equ'ttes  and  plebs:  the  Greekes  had  also  evye- 
i/et?  Kai  \t)iLavTiypv<i.  The  French  have  also  at  this 
day,  Us  nobUs  and  la  populare,  or  gentils  homes  and 
villaines:  we  in  England  divide  our  men  commonly 
into  foure  sortes,  gentlemen,  citizens,  yeomen  artificers, 
and  laborers.     Of  frentlemen  the  first  and  chiefe  are 

the  king,  the  prince,  dukes,  marquises,  earles,  vi- 
countes,  barrons,  and  these  are  called  /car  £%oyT)v  the 
nobility,  and  all  these  are  called  Lords  and  noble- 
men :  next  to  these  be  knightes,  esquiers  and  simple 

Of  the  first  part  of  gentlemen  of  englande 

called  Nobilitas  maior. 
Chap.  17. 

DUkes,  marquises,  erles,  vicountes,  and  barrons, 
either  be  created  by  the  prince  or  come  to  that 
honor  by  being  the  eldest  sonnes,  as  highest  and  next 
in  succession  to  their  parentes.  For  the  eldest  of  dukes 
sonnes  during  his  fathers  lyfe  is  called  an  earle,  an 
earles  sonne  is  called  by  the  name  of  a  vicount,  or 
baron,  or  else  according  as  the  creation  is.  The 
creation  I  cal  the  first  donation  and  condition  of  the 
honour  (given  by  the  prince,  for  good  service  done  by 
him  and  advauncement  that  the   prince  will   bestowe 



uppon  him)  which  with  the  title  of  that  honour  is 
commonly  (but  not  alwayes)  given  to  him  and  to  his 
heires,  males  onely :  the  rest  of  the  sonnes  of  the 
nobilitie  by  the  rigor  of  the  lawe  be  but  esquiers, 
yet  in  common  speeche,  all  dukes  and  marquises 
sonnes,  and  the  eldest  sonne  of  an  earle  be  called 
Lordes.  The  which  name  commonly  doth  agree  to 
none  of  lower  degree  than  barrons,  excepting  such 
onely,  as  be  thereunto  by  some  speciall  office  called. 
The  barrony  or  degree  of  Lordes  doeth  answere  to 
the  dignitie  of  the  Senators  of  Rome,  and  the  title  of 
our  nobilitie  to  their  patricij'.  when  patricij  did  be- 
token Senatores  aut  senatorum  filios.  Census  Senatorius 
was  in  Rome,  at  diverse  times  diverse,  and  in  Englande 
no  man  is  created  barron,  excepte  he  may  dispend  of 
yearly  revenue,  one  thousand  poundes  or  one  thousand 
markes  at  the  least.  Vicountes,  earles,  marquises  and 
dukes  more  according  to  the  proportion  of  the  degree 
and  honour,  but  though  by  chaunce  he  or  his  sonne 
have  lesse,  he  keepeth  his  degree:  but  if  they  decay 
by  excesse,  and  be  not  able  to  maintaine  the  honour 
(as  senatores  Romant  were  amoti  senatu)  so  sometimes 
they  are  not  admitted  to  the  upper  house  in  the 
parliament,  although  they  keepe  the  name  of  Lorde 

Of  the  second  sort  of  gentlemen  which  may 

be  called  Nobilitas  minor^  and  first  of  knightes. 
Chap.  18. 

^T  O  man  is  a  Knight  by  succession,  not  the  king 
%      or  prince.    And  the  name  of  prince  in  england 
kclt    egoxyv  betokeneth   the   kinges   eldest   sonne   or 


ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

prince  of  wales :  although  the  king  himselfe,  his  eldest 
sonne,  and  all  dukes  be  called  by  generall  name 
princes.  But  as  in  Fraunce  the  kinges  eldest  sonne 
hath  the  title  of  the  daulphine,  and  he  or  the  next 
heire  apparant  to  the  crowne  is  monsire,  so  in  Englande 
the  kinges  eldest  sonne  is  called  kot  i^o^rjv  the  prince. 
Knightes  therefore  be  not  borne  but  made,  either 
before  the  battle  to  encourage  them  the  more  to  ad- 
venture their  lives,  or  after  the  conflict,  as  advaunce- 
ment  for  their  hardinesse  and  manhood  alreadie  shewed : 
or  out  of  the  warre  for  some  great  service  done,  or 
some  good  hope  through  the  vermes  which  do  appeare 
in  them.  And  they  are  made  either  by  the  king  him- 
selfe, or  by  his  commission  and  royall  authoritie,  given 
for  the  same  purpose,  or  by  his  liuetenaunt  in  the 
warres,  who  hath  his  royall  and  absolute  power  com- 
mitted to  him  for  that  time.  And  that  order  seemeth 
to  aunswere  in  part  to  that  which  the  Romanes  called 
Equites  Romanosy  differing  in  some  pointes,  and  agreeing 
in  other,  as  their  common  wealth  and  ours  do  differ 
and  agree :  for  never  in  all  pointes  one  common  wealth 
doth  agree  with  an  other,  no  nor  long  time  any  one 
common  wealth  with  it  selfe.  For  al  chaungeth 
continually  to  more  or  lesse,  and  still  to  diverse  and 
diverse  orders,  as  the  diversity  of  times  do  present 
occasion,  and  the  mutabilitie  of  mens  wittes  doth 
invent  and  assay  newe  wayes,  to  reforme  and  amende 
that  werein  they  do  finde  fault.  Equites  Romani 
were  chosen  ex  censu,  that  is  according  to  their  sub- 
stance and  riches.  So  be  knightes  in  England  most 
commonly,  according  to  the  yearely  revenew  of  their 
landes  being  able  to  maintaine  that  estate :  yet  all  they 
that  had  Equestrem  censum,  non  legebantur  equites.     No 

c  33 


more  are  all  made  knightes  in  Englande  that  may 
dispende  a  knightes  land  or  fee,  but  they  onely  whom 
the  king  wil  so  honour.  The  number  of  Equites  was 
uncertaine,  and  so  it  is  of  knightes,  at  the  pleasure 
of  the  prince.  Equites  Romani  had  equum  publicum. 
The  knightes  of  England  have  not  so,  but  finde  their 
own  horse  themselves  in  peace  time,  and  most  usually 
in  warres. 

Census  equester  was  among  the  Romanes  at  diverse 
times  of  diverse  valew:  but  in  England  whosoever 
may  dispende  of  his  free  landes  40.  1.  sterling  of 
yearely  revenew  by  an  olde  law  of  Englande  either 
at  the  coronation  of  the  king,  or  manage  of  his 
daughter,  or  at  the  dubbing  of  the  prince,  knight, 
or  some  such  great  occasion,  may  be  by  the  king 
compelled  to  take  that  order  and  honour,  or  to 
pay  a  fine,  which  many  not  so  desirous  of  honour 
as  of  riches,  had  rather  disburse.  Some  who  for 
causes  ar  not  thought  worthy  of  that  honor  and 
yet  have  abilitie,  neither  be  made  knightes  though 
they  would,  and  yet  pay  the  fine.  XI.  1.  sterling,  at 
that  time  when  this  order  began,  maketh  now  Cxx.  1. 
of  currant  mony  of  Englande :  as  I  have  more  at  large 
declared  in  my  booke  of  the  diversitie  of  standardes 
or  the  valor  of  monies. 

When  the  Romanes  did  write  senatus  populusque 
Romanus,  they  seemed  to  make  but  two  orders,  that 
is  of  the  Senate  and  of  the  people  of  Rome,  and  so 
in  the  name  of  people  they  contained  equites  and 
plehem :  so  when  we  in  England  do  say  the  Lordes 
and  the  commons,  the  knights,  esquires,  and  other 
gentlemen,  with  citizens,  burgeses  and  yeomen  be 
accompted   to  make  the  commons.     In   ordaining  of 


ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

lawes  the  senate  of  Lordes  of  England  is  one  house, 
where  the  Archbishoppes  and  Bishops  also  be,  and  the 
king  or  Queene  for  the  time  being  as  chiefe:  the 
Knights  and  all  the  rest  of  the  gentlemen,  citizens 
and  burgeses  which  be  admitted  to  consult  upon  the 
greatest  affaires  of  the  Realme  be  in  an  other  house 
by  themselves,  and  that  is  called  the  house  of  the 
commons,  as  we  shal  more  clearely  describe  when  we 
speake  of  the  parliament.  Whereupon  this  worde 
knight  is  derived,  and  whether  it  do  betoken  no  more 
but  that  which  miles  doth  in  latine,  which  is  a  souldier, 
might  be  moved  as  a  question.  The  word  souldier 
now  seemeth  rather  to  come  of  sould  and  payment, 
and  more  to  betoken  a  waged  or  hyred  man  to  fight 
than  otherwise,  yet  Casar  in  his  Commentaries  called 
soldures  in  the  tongue  gallois,  men  who  devoted  and 
swore  themselves  in  a  certaine  band  or  othe  one  to 
another  and  to  the  captaine,  which  order  if  the 
Almains  did  follow,  it  may  be  that  they  who  were 
not  hyred  but  being  of  the  nation,  uppon  their  owne 
charges  and  for  their  advauncement,  and  by  such 
common  oth  or  band  that  did  follow  the  warres,  were 
(possibly)  Kar  e^o^rjv  called  knightes  or  militesy  and 
nowe  among  the  Almaines  some  are  called  lanceknights 
as  souldiers  of  their  band  not  hyred,  although  at  this 
day  they  be  for  the  most  part  hirelings.  Or  per- 
adventure  it  may  be  that  they  which  were  next  about 
the  prince  as  his  garde  or  servauntes  picked  or  chosen 
men  out  of  the  rest  being  called  in  the  Almaine 
language,  knighten,  which  is  asmuch  to  say  as  ser- 
vantes:  these  men  being  found  of  good  service,  the 
word  afterward  was  taken  for  an  honor,  and  for  him 
who  maketh  profession  of  armes.  Our  language  is 
c*  35 


so  chaunged  that  I  dare  make  no  judgement  therof. 
Now  we  call  him  knight  in  english  that  the  french 
calleth  chevalier,  and  the  latine  equitem  or  equestris 

And  when  any  man  is  made  a  knight,  he  kneeling 
downe  is  stroken  of  the  prince,  with  his  sworde  naked 
uppon  the  backe  or  shoulder,  the  prince  saying:  sus  or 
sois  chivalier  au  nom  de  Dieu  and  (in  times  past)  they 
added  S.  George,  and  at  his  arising  the  prince  saith, 
avauncer.  This  is  the  manner  of  dubbing  of  knights 
at  this  present:  and  that  terme  dubbing  was  the 
olde  terme  in  this  point,  and  not  creation.  At  the 
coronation  of  a  king  or  queene,  there  be  knightes 
of  the  bath  made  with  long  and  more  curious  cere- 
monies: But  howsoever  one  be  dubbed  or  made  a 
knight,  his  wife  is  by  and  by  called  a  Ladie  as  well 
as  a  barons  wife :  he  himselfe  is  not  called  Lorde,  but 
hath  to  his  name  in  common  appellation  added  this 
syllable,  Sir,  as  if  he  before  were  named,  Thomas, 
William,  'John,  or  Richard,  afterward  he  is  alwayes 
called  Sir  Thomas,  Sir  William,  Sir  John,  Sir  Richard, 
and  that  is  the  title  which  men  give  to  knightes  in 
England.  This  may  suffice  at  this  time,  to  declare 
the  order  of  knighthood,  yet  there  is  an  other  order 
of  knightes  in  England  which  be  called  the  knightes 
of  the  garter.  King  Edward  the  third,  after  he  had 
obtained  many  notable  victories,  King  John  of  Fraunce, 
King  James  of  Scotland,  being  both  prisoners  in  the 
tower  of  London  at  one  time,  and  king  Henrie  of 
Castell  the  bastard  expulsed  out  of  his  realme,  and 
Don  Retro  restored  unto  it  by  the  prince  of  Wales 
and  Duke  of  Aquitaine  called  the  blacke  prince,  in- 
vented a  societie  of  honour,  and   made  a  choise  out 


ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

of  his  owne  realme  and  dominions,  and  all  Christen- 
dom :  and  the  best  and  most  excellent  renouned 
persons  in  vertues  and  honour,  he  did  adorne  with  that 
title  to  be  knightes  of  his  order,  gave  them  a  garter 
decked  with  golde,  pearle  and  precious  stones,  with 
the  buckle  of  gold,  to  weare  daily  on  the  left  legge 
onely,  a  kirtle,  gowne,  cloke,  chaperon,  collar,  and 
other  august  and  magnificall  apparell  both  of  stuffe 
and  fashion  exquisite  and  heroicall,  to  weare  at  high 
feastes,  as  to  so  high  and  princely  an  order  was  meete : 
of  which  order  he  and  his  successors  Kinges  and 
Queenes  of  England  to  be  the  soveraigne,  and  the  rest 
by  certaine  statutes  and  lawes  among  themselves,  be 
taken  as  brethren  and  fellowes  in  that  order,  to  the 
number  of  xxvi.  But  because  this  is  rather  an  orna- 
ment of  the  realme  than  any  policie  or  government 
therof,  I  leave  to  speake  any  further  of  it. 

Of  Esquiers. 
Chap.  19. 

EScuier  or  esquier  (which  we  call  commonly  squire) 
is  a  French  worde,  and  betokeneth  Scutigerum 
or  Armigerum,  and  be  all  those  which  beare  armes 
(as  we  call  them)  or  armories  (as  they  terme  them  in 
French)  which  to  beare  is  a  testimonie  of  the  nobilitie 
or  race  from  whence  they  do  come.  These  be  taken 
for  no  distinct  order  of  the  common  wealth,  but  do 
goe  with  the  residue  of  the  gentlemen :  save  that 
(as  I  take  it)  they  be  those  who  beare  armes,  testi- 
monies (as  I  have  saide)  of  their  race,  and  therefore 
have  neither  creation  nor  dubbing:  or  else  they  were 



at  the  first  costerels  or  the  bearers  of  the  armes  of 

Lordes    or    knightes,   and    by   that  had    their    name 

for  a  dignitie  and  honour  given  to  distinguish  them 

from  a  common   souldier   called    in  latine   Gregarius 

Of  Gentlemen. 
Chap.  20. 

GEntlemen  be  those  whom  their  blood  and  race 
doth  make  noble  and  knowne,  Rvyevels  in 
Greeke,  the  Latines  call  them  all  Nobiles,  as  the  French 
Nobles,  Rvyevela  or  Nobilitas  in  Latine  is  defined, 
honour  or  title  given,  for  that  the  auncestor  hath  bin 
notable  in  riches  or  vertues,  or  (in  fewer  wordes)  old 
riches  or  prowes  remaining  in  one  stock.  Which  if 
the  successors  do  keepe  and  followe,  they  be  vere  nobiles 
and  TLvyeveis:  if  they  doe  not,  yet  the  fame  and 
wealth  of  their  auncestors  serve  to  cover  them  so 
long  as  it  can,  as  a  thing  once  gilted  though  it  be 
copper  within,  till  the  gilt  be  worne  away.  This  hath 
his  reason,  for  the  Etimologie  of  the  name  serveth 
thefficacie  of  the  worde.  Gens  in  Latine  betokeneth  the 
race  and  sirname,  so  the  Romaines  had  Cornelios,  Sergios, 
Appios,  Fabios,  Aemilios,  Pisones,  Julios,  Brutos,  Valerios, 
of  which  who  were  Agnati,  and  therefore  kept  the 
name,  were  also  Gentiles :  and  remaining  the  me- 
morie  of  the  glorie  of  their  progenitors  fame,  were 
gentlemen  of  that  or  that  race.  This  matter  made 
a  great  strife  among  the  Romanes,  when  those  which 
were  Novi  homines  were  more  allowed,  for  their  vertues 
new  and  newly  showen,  than  the  olde  smell  of 
auntient  race  newly  defaced  by  the  cowardise  and  evill 


ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

life  of  their  nephewes  and  discendauntes  could  make 
the  other  to  be.  Thus  the  Cicerones,  Catones^  and 
Marii  had  much  adoe  with  those  auncients,  and  there- 
fore said  "Juvenalis : 

Malo  pater  tibi  sit  Tersites,  dummodo  tu  sis 
Aeacidi  similis  vulcaniaque  arma  capessas, 
Quam  te  Thersiti  similem  producat  Achilles. 
But  as  other  common  wealthes  were  faine  to  doe, 
so  must  all  princes  necessarilie  followe,  that  is,  where 
vertue  is  to  honour  it :  and  although  vertue  of  auncient 
race  be  easier  to  be  obtained,  aswell  by  the  example 
of  the  progenitors,  which  encourageth,  as  also  through 
habilitie  of  education  and  bringing  up,  which  enableth, 
and  the  lastly  enraced  love  of  tenants  and  neybors  to 
such  noblemen  and  gentlemen,  of  whom  they  holde 
and  by  whom  they  doe  dwell,  which  pricketh  forward 
to  ensue  in  their  fathers  steps.  So  if  all  this  doe  faile 
(as  it  were  great  pitie  it  should)  yet  such  is  the  nature 
of  all  humaine  thinges,  and  so  the  world  is  subject 
to  mutability,  that  it  doth  many  times  faile :  but  when 
it  doth,  the  prince  and  common  wealth  have  the  same 
power  that  their  predecessors  had,  and  as  the  husband- 
man hath  to  plant  a  new  tree  where  the  olde  fayleth, 
so  hath  the  prince  to  honour  vertue  where  he  doth 
find  it,  to  make  gentlemen,  esquiers,  knights,  barons, 
earles,  marquises,  and  dukes,  where  he  seeth  vertue 
able  to  beare  that  honour  or  merits,  and  deserves  it, 
and  so  it  hath  alwayes  bin  used  among  us.  But  or- 
dinarily the  king  doth  only  make  knights  and  create 
barons  or  higher  degrees :  for  as  for  gentlemen,  they 
be  made  good  cheape  in  England.  For  whosoever 
studieth  the  lawes  of  the  realme,  who  studieth  in  the 
universities,  who  professeth  liberall  sciences,  and  to  be 



shorte,  who  can  live  idly  and  without  manuall  labour, 
and  will  beare  the  port,  charge  and  countenaunce  of 
a  gentleman,  he  shall  be  called  master,  for  that  is  the 
title  which  men  give  to  esquires  and  other  gentlemen, 
and  shall  be  taken  for  a  gentleman :  for  true  it  is  with 
us  as  is  saide,  Tanti  eris  alijs  quanti  tibi  fecerh :  (and 
if  neede  be)  a  king  of  Heraulds  shal  also  give  him  for 
mony,  armes  newly  made  and  invented,  the  title 
whereof  shall  pretende  to  have  beene  found  by  the 
sayd  Herauld  in  perusing  and  viewing  of  olde  registers, 
where  his  auncestors  in  times  past  had  bin  recorded 
to  beare  the  same :  Or  if  he  wil  do  it  more  truely 
and  of  better  faith,  he  will  write  that  for  the  merittes 
of  that  man,  and  certaine  qualities  which  he  doth  see 
in  him,  and  for  sundrie  noble  actes  which  he  hath 
perfourmed,  he  by  the  authoritie  which  he  hath  as 
king  of  Heraldes  and  armes,  giveth  to  him  and  his 
heires  these  and  these  armes,  which  being  done  I  thinke 
he  may  be  called  a  squire,  for  he  beareth  ever  after 
those  armes.  Such  men  are  called  sometime  in  scorne 
gentlemen  of  the  first  head. 

Whether  the  maner  of  England  in  making 
gentlemen  so  easily  is  to  be  allowed. 

Chap.  21. 

A  Man  may  make  doubt  and  question  whether  this 
maner  of  making  gentlemen  is  to  be  allowed 
or  no,  and  for  my  part  I  am  of  that  opinion  that  it  is 
not  amisse.  For  first  the  prince  loseth  nothing  by  it, 
as  he  shoulde  doe  if  it  were  as  in  Fraunce:  for  the 
yeomen  or  husbandman  is  no  more  subject  to  taile  or 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

taxe  in  Englande  than  the  gentleman :  no,  in  every 
payment  to  the  king  the  gentleman  is  more  charged, 
which  he  beareth  the  gladlier  and  dareth  not  gainesaie 
for  to  save  and  keepe  his  honour  and  reputation.  In 
any  shew  or  muster  or  other  particular  charge  of  the 
towne  where  he  is,  he  must  open  his  purse  wider  and 
augment  his  portion  above  others,  or  else  he  doth 
diminish  his  reputation.  As  for  their  outward  shew, 
a  gentleman  (if  he  wil  be  so  accompted)  must  go  like 
a  gentleman,  a  yeoman  like  a  yeoman,  and  a  rascall 
like  a  rascall :  and  if  he  be  called  to  the  warres,  he 
must  and  will  (whatsoever  it  cost  him)  array  himselfe 
and  arme  him  according  to  the  vocation  which  he 
pretendeth  :  he  must  shew  also  a  more  manly  corage 
and  tokens  of  better  education,  higher  stomacke  and 
bountifuller  liberalise  than  others,  and  keepe  about 
him  idle  servauntes,  who  shall  doe  nothing  but  waite 
upon  him.  So  that  no  man  hath  hurt  by  it  but  he 
himselfe,  who  hereby  per  chance  will  beare  a  bigger 
saile  than  he  is  able  to  maintaine.  For  as  touching 
the  policie  and  goverment  of  the  common  wealth, 
it  is  not  those  that  have  to  do  with  it,  which  will 
magnifie  them  selves,  and  goe  in  higher  buskins  than 
their  estate  will  beare:  but  they  which  are  to  be 
appointed,  are  persons  tryed  and  well  knowen,  as  shall 
be  declared  hereafter. 

Of  Citizens  and  Burgesses. 
Chap.  22. 

NExt    to    gentlemen,    be    appointed    citizens   and 
burgesses,  such   as  not  onely  be  free  and  re- 
ceived as  officers  within  the  cities,  but  also  be  of  some 



substance  to  beare  the  charges.  But  these  citizens  and 
burgesses,  be  to  serve  the  common  wealth,  in  their 
cities  and  burrowes,  or  in  corporate  townes  where  they 
dwell.  Generally  in  the  shyres  they  be  of  none 
accompt,  save  onely  in  the  common  assembly  of  the 
realme  to  make  lawes,  which  is  called  the  Parliament. 
The  aunciet  cities  appoint  iiij.  and  ech  burrough  ij. 
to  have  voices  in  it,  and  to  give  their  consent  or 
dissent  in  the  name  of  the  citie  or  burrough  for  which 
they  be  appointed. 

Of  Yeomen. 
Chap.  23. 

THose  whom  we  call  yeomen  next  unto  the 
nobilitie,  knights  and  squires,  have  the  greatest 
charge  and  doings  in  the  common  wealth,  or  rather 
are  more  travailed  to  serve  in  it  than  all  the  rest :  as 
shall  appeare  hereafter.  I  call  him  a  yeoman  whom 
our  lawes  doe  call  Legalem  hominem,  a  worde  familiar 
in  writtes  and  enquestes,  which  is  a  freeman  borne 
English,  and  may  dispend  of  his  owne  free  lande  in 
yerely  revenue  to  the  summe  of  xl.  s.  sterling :  This 
maketh  (if  the  just  value  were  taken  now  to  the 
proportion  of  monies)  vi.  1.  of  our  currant  mony  at 
this  present.  This  sort  of  people  confesse  themselves 
to  be  no  gentlemen,  but  give  the  honour  to  al  which 
be  or  take  upon  them  to  be  gentlemen,  and  yet  they 
have  a  certaine  preheminence  and  more  estimation  than 
laborers  and  artificers,  and  commonly  live  welthilie, 
keepe  good  houses,  and  do  their  businesse,  and  travaile 
to  acquire  riches :  these  be  (for  the  most  part)  fermors 
unto  gentlemen,  which  with  grasing,  frequenting  of 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  i. 

markettes,  and  keeping  servauntes  not  idle  as  the  gentle- 
man doth,  but  such  as  get  both  their  owne  living  and 
parte  of  their  maisters:  by  these  meanes  doe  come 
to  such  wealth,  that  they  are  able  and  daily  doe  buy 
the  landes  of  unthriftie  gentlemen,  and  after  setting 
their  sonnes  to  the  schoole  at  the  Universities,  to  the 
lawe  of  the  Realme,  or  otherwise  leaving  them 
sufficient  landes  whereon  they  may  live  without  labour, 
doe  make  their  saide  sonnes  by  those  meanes  gentle- 
men. These  be  not  called  masters,  for  that  (as  I  saide) 
pertaineth  to  gentlemen  onely :  But  to  their  surnames, 
men  adde  goodman  :  as  if  the  surname  be  Luter,  Finch, 
White,  Browne,  they  are  called,  goodman  Luter,  good- 
man  White,  goodman  Finch,  goodman  Browne,  amongest 
their  neighbours,  I  meane  not  in  matters  of  importance 
or  in  lawe.  But  in  matters  of  lawe  and  for  distinction, 
if  one  were  a  knight  they  would  write  him  (for  ex- 
ample sake)  sir  John  Finch  knight,  so  if  he  be  an 
esquier,  John  Finch  esquier  or  gentleman,  if  he  be 
no  gentleman,  John  Finch  yeoman.  For  amongest 
the  gentlemen  they  which  claime  no  higher  degree, 
and  yet  be  to  be  exempted  out  of  the  number  of  the 
lowest  sort  thereof,  be  written  esquiers.  So  amongest 
the  husbandmen  labourers,  lowest  and  rascall  sort  of 
the  people  such  as  be  exempted  out  of  the  number  of 
the  rascabilitie  of  the  popular  be  called  and  written 
yeomen,  as  in  the  degree  next  unto  gentlemen.  These 
are  they  which  olde  Cato  calleth  Aratores  and  optimos 
cives  in  Republica :  and  such  as  of  whom  the  writers 
of  common  wealthes  praise  to  have  manie  in  it.  Ari- 
stote/es  namely  reciteth  iro/xa  fiecrrjria  apiara :  these 
tende  their  owne  businesse,  come  not  to  meddle  in 
publike  matters  and  judgements  but  when  they  are 



called,  and  gladde  when  they  are  delivered  thereof,  are 
obedient  to  the  gentlemen  and  rulers,  and  in  warre 
can  abide  travaile  and  labour  as  men  used  to  it,  yet 
wishing  it  soone  at  an  ende  that  they  might  come 
home  and  live  of  their  owne.  When  they  are  foorth 
they  fight  for  their  Lordes  of  whom  they  hold  their 
landes,  for  their  wives  and  children,  for  their  countrey 
and  nation,  for  praise  and  honour,  against  they  come 
home,  and  to  have  the  love  of  their  Lorde  and  his 
children  to  be  continued  towardes  them  and  their 
children,  which  have  adventured  their  lives  to  and 
with  him  and  his.  These  are  they  which  in  the  old 
world  gat  that  honour  to  Englande,  not  that  either  for 
witte,  conduction,  or  for  power  they  are  or  were  ever 
to  be  compared  to  the  gentlemen,  but  because  they  be 
so  manie  in  number,  so  obedient  at  the  Lordes  call, 
so  strong  of  bodie,  so  heard  to  endure  paine,  so 
couragious  to  adventure  with  their  Lorde  or  Captaine 
going  with,  or  before  them,  for  else  they  be  not  hastie 
nor  never  were,  as  making  no  profession  of  knowledge 
of  warre.  These  were  the  good  archers  in  times  past, 
and  the  stable  troupe  of  footemen  that  affaide  all 
France,  that  would  rather  die  all,  than  once  abandon 
the  knight  or  gentleman  their  Captaine,  who  at  those 
daies  commonly  was  their  Lorde,  and  whose  tenauntes 
they  were,  readie  (besides  perpetuall  shame)  to  be  in 
danger  of  undoing  of  them  selves,  and  all  theirs  if  they 
should  showe  any  signe  of  cowardise  or  abandon  the 
Lorde,  Knight  or  Gentlemen  of  whom  they  helde 
their  living.  And  this  they  have  amongest  them  from 
their  forefathers  tolde  one  to  an  other.  The  gentlemen 
of  France  and  the  yeomen  of  Englande  are  renowned, 
because  in  battle  of  horsemen  Fraunce  was  many  times 


ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

too  good  for  us,  as  we  againe  alway  for  them  on  foote. 
And  Gentlemen  for  the  most  part  be  men  at  armes 
and  horsemen,  and  yeomen  commonlie  on  foote :  howe- 
soever  it  was,  yet  the  gentlemen  had  alwaies  the 
conduction  of  the  yeomen,  and  as  their  captaines  were 
either  a  foote  or  upon  a  litle  nagge  with  them,  and 
the  Kinges  of  Englande  in  foughten  battles  remaining 
alwaies  among  the  footemen,  as  the  French  Kinges 
amongst  their  horsemen.  Each  Prince  therby,  as  a  man 
may  gesse,  did  shew  where  he  thought  his  strength  did 
consist.  What  a  yeoman  is  I  have  declared,  but  from 
whence  the  word  is  derived  it  is  hard  to  say :  it  cannot 
be  thought  that  yeomen  should  be  said  a  young  man, 
for  commonly  wee  doe  not  call  any  a  yeoman  till  he  be 
married,  and  have  children,  and  as  it  were  have  some  au- 
thorise among  his  neighbours.  Yonker  in  lowe  dutch  be- 
tokeneth  a  meane  gentleman  or  a  gay  fellowe.  Possible 
our  yeomen  not  being  so  bolde  as  to  name  themselves 
gentlemen,  when  they  came  home,  were  content  when 
they  had  heard  by  frequentation  with  lowe  dutchmen 
of  some  small  gentleman  (but  yet  that  would  be 
counted  so)  to  be  called  amongest  them,  yonker  man, 
the  calling  so  in  warres  by  mockage  or  in  sport  thone 
an  other,  when  they  come  home,  yonker  man,  and  so 
yeoman  :  which  worde  now  signifieth  among  us, 
a  man  well  at  ease  and  having  honestlie  to  live, 
and  yet  not  a  gentleman :  whatsoever  that  worde 
yonker  man,  yonke  man,  or  yeoman  doth  more  or 
lesse  signifie  to  the  dutch  men. 



Of  the  fourth  sort  of  men  which 

doe  not  rule. 
Chap.  24. 

THe  fourth  sort  or  classe  amongest  us,  is  of  those 
which  the  olde  Romans  called  capite  censij 
proletary  or  operce,  day  labourers,  poore  husbandmen, 
yea  marchantes  or  retailers  which  have  no  free  lande, 
copiholders,  and  all  artificers,  as  Taylers,  Shoomakers, 
Carpenters,  Brickemakers,  Bricklayers,  Masons,  &c. 
These  have  no  voice  nor  authoritie  in  our  common 
wealth,  and  no  account  is  made  of  them  but  onelie 
to  be  ruled,  not  to  rule  other,  and  yet  they  be  not 
altogether  neglected.  For  in  cities  and  corporate 
townes  for  default  of  yeomen,  enquests  and  Juries  are 
impaneled  of  such  manner  of  people.  And  in  villages 
they  be  commonly  made  Churchwardens,  alecunners, 
and  manie  times  Constables,  which  office  toucheth 
more  the  common  wealth,  and  at  the  first  was  not 
imployed  uppon  such  lowe  and  base  persons.  Where- 
fore generally  to  speake  of  the  common  wealth,  or 
policie  of  Englande,  it  is  governed,  administred,  and 
manured  by  three  sortes  of  persons,  the  Prince,  Mon- 
arch, and  head  governer,  which  is  called  the  king,  or 
if  the  crowne  fall  to  a  woman,  the  Queene  absolute, 
as  I  have  heeretofore  saide :  In  whose  name  and  by 
whose  authoritie  all  things  are  administred.  The 
gentlemen,  which  be  divided  into  two  partes,  the 
Baronie  or  estate  of  Lordes  conteyning  barons  and 
all  that  bee  above  the  degree  of  a  baron,  (as  I  have 
declared  before) :  and  those  which  be  no  Lords,  as 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   i. 

Knightes,  Esquires,  and  simplely  gentlemen.  The 
thirde  and  last  sort  of  persons  is  named  the  yeomanrie : 
each  of  these  hath  his  part  and  administration  in 
judgementes,  corrections  of  defaultes,  in  election  of 
offices,  in  appointing  and  collection  of  tributes  and 
subsidies,  or  in  making  lawes,  as  shall  appear  heere- 




Of  the  Parliament  and  the  au- 

thoritie  thereof. 
Chap.  i. 

THe  most  high  and  absolute  power  of  the  realme 
of  Englande,  consisteth  in  the  Parliament.  For 
as  in  warre  where  the  king  himselfe  in  person,  the 
nobilitie,  the  rest  of  the  gentilitie,  and  the  yeomanrie 
are,  is  the  force  and  power  of  Englande:  so  in  peace 
and  consultation  where  the  Prince  is  to  give  life,  and 
the  last  and  highest  commaundement,  the  Baronie  for 
the  nobilitie  and  higher,  the  knightes,  esquiers,  gentle- 
men and  commons  for  the  lower  part  of  the  common 
wealth,  the  bishoppes  for  the  clergie  bee  present  to 
advertise,  consult  and  shew  what  is  good  and  necessarie 
for  the  common  wealth,  and  to  consult  together,  and 
upon  mature  deliberation  everie  bill  or  lawe  being 
thrise  reade  and  disputed  uppon  in  either  house,  the 
other  two  partes  first  each  a  part,  and  after  the  Prince 
himselfe  in  presence  of  both  the  parties  doeth  consent 
unto  and  That  is  the  Princes  and  whole 
realmes  deede :  whereupon  justlie  no  man  can  com- 
plaine,  but  must  accommodate  himselfe  to  finde  it 
good  and  obey  it. 


That  which  is  doone  by  this  consent  is  called 
firme,  stable,  and  sanctum,  and  is  taken  for  lawe.  The 
Parliament  abrogateth  olde  lawes,  maketh  newe,  giveth 
orders  for  thinges  past,  and  for  thinges  hereafter  to 
be  followed,  changeth  rightes,  and  possessions  of  private 
men,  legittimateth  bastards,  established  formes  of 
religion,  altereth  weightes  and  measures,  giveth  formes 
of  succession  to  the  crowne,  defineth  of  doubtfull 
rightes,  whereof  is  no  lawe  alreadie  made,  appointeth 
subsidies,  tailes,  taxes,  and  impositions,  giveth  most  free 
pardons  and  absolutions,  restoreth  in  bloud  and  name 
as  the  highest  court,  condemneth  or  absolveth  them 
whom  the  Prince  will  put  to  that  triall:  And  to  be 
short,  all  that  ever  the  people  of  Rome  might  do  either 
in  Centuriatis  comitijs  or  tributis,  the  same  may  be  doone 
by  the  parliament  of  Englande,  which  representeth 
and  hath  the  power  of  the  whole  realme  both  the  head 
and  the  bodie.  For  everie  Englishman  is  entended 
to  bee  there  present,  either  in  person  or  by  procuration 
and  attornies,  of  what  preheminence,  state,  dignitie, 
or  qualitie  soever  he  be,  from  the  Prince  (be  he  King 
or  Queene)  to  the  lowest  person  of  Englande.  And 
the  consent  of  the  Parliament  is  taken  to  be  everie 
mans  consent. 

The  forme  of  holding  the  Parliament. 
Chap.  2. 

THe  Prince  sendeth  foorth  his  rescripts  or  writtes 
to  every  duke,  marques,  baron,  and  every  other 
Lorde  temporall  or  spirituall  who  hath  voice  in  the 
parliament,  to  be  at  his  great  counsell  of  Parliament 
such  a  day,  (the  space  from  the  date  of  the  writ  is 

d  49 


commonly  at  the  least  fortie  dayes) :  he  sendeth  also 
writtes  to  the  Sherifes  of  every  shyre  to  admonish  the 
whole  shire  to  choose  two  knightes  of  the  parliament 
in  the  name  of  the  shyre,  to  heare  and  reason,  and 
to  give  their  advise  and  consent  in  the  name  of  the 
shire,  and  to  be  present  at  that  day :  likewise  to  every 
citie  and  towne  which  of  ancientie  hath  bin  wont  to 
finde  burgesses  of  the  parliament,  so  to  make  election 
that  they  might  be  present  there  at  the  first  day  of 
the  parliament.     The  knightes  of  the  shyre  be  chosen 
by  all  the  gentlemen  and  yeomen  of  the  shyre,  present 
at  the  day  assigned  for  the  election :  the  voice  of  any 
absent  can  be  counted  for  none.     Yeomen  I  call  here 
(as  before)    that   may   dispende  at  the   least  xl.  s.   of 
yearely  rent  of  free  lande  of  his  owne.     These  meet- 
ing at  one  day,  the  two  who  have  the  more  of  their 
voices  be  chosen  knightes  of  the  shire  for  that  parlia- 
ment :  likewise  by  the  pluralitie  of  the  voyces  of  the 
citizens  and  burgesses  be  the  burgesses  elected.     The 
first   day   of   the   parliament  the    Prince   and  all   the 
Lordes  in  their  robes  of  parliament  do  meete  in  the 
higher    house,   where   after    prayers    made,   they    that 
be  present  are  written,  and  they  that  be  absent  upon 
sicknes   or   some   other    reasonable   cause  (which   the 
prince  will  allow e)   do  constitute  under  their   hande 
and  seale  some  one  of  those  who  be  present  as  their 
procurer  or  atturney  to  give  voice  for  them,  so  that 
by  presence  or  atturney  and  proxey  they  be  all  there, 
all   the   princes  and   barrons  and  all  archbishops  and 
bishops,  and  (when  abbots  were)  so  many  abbots  as  had 
voice  in  parliament.     The  place  where  the  assembly 
is,  is  richly  tapessed  and  hanged,  a  princely  and  royal 
throne  as  appertaineth  to  a  king,  set  in   the   middest 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

of  the  higher  place  thereof.  Next  under  the  prince 
sitteth  the  Chancellor,  who  is  the  voyce  and  orator 
of  the  prince.  On  the  one  side  of  that  house  or 
chamber  sitteth  the  archbishops  and  bishops,  ech  in 
his  ranke,  on  the  other  side  .  the  dukes  and  barons. 
In  the  middest  thereof  uppon  woolsackes  sitteth  the 
Judges  of  the  realme,  the  master  of  the  roules,  and 
the  secretaries  of  estate.  But  these  that  sit  on  the 
woolsacks  have  no  voice  in  the  house,  but  onely  sit 
there  to  aunswere  their  knowledge  in  the  law,  when 
they  be  asked  if  any  doubt  arise  among  the  Lordes. 
The  secretaries  to  aunswere  of  such  letters  or  thinges 
passed  in  counsell  whereof  they  have  the  custodie  and 
knowledge :  and  this  is  called  the  upper  house,  whose 
consent  and  dissent  is  given  by  ech  man  severally  and 
by  himselfe,  first  for  himselfe,  and  then  severally  for 
so  many  as  he  hath  letters  and  proxies,  when  it 
commeth  to  the  question,  saying  onely  content  or  not 
content,  without  further  reasoning  or  replying.  In 
this  meane  time  the  knights  of  the  shires  and  burgesses 
of  the  parliament  (for  so  they  are  called  that  have 
voice  in  parliament,  and  are  chosen  as  I  have  said 
before,  to  the  number  betwixt  iij.  C.  and  iiij.  C.)  are 
called  by  such  as  it  pleaseth  the  prince  to  appoint,  into 
an  other  great  house  or  chamber  by  name,  to  which 
they  aunswere  and  declaring  for  what  shyre  or  towne 
they  aunswere :  then  they  are  willed  to  choose  an  able 
and  discreete  man  to  be  as  it  were  the  mouth  of  them 
all,  and  to  speake  for  and  in  the  name  of  them,  and 
to  present  him  so  chosen  by  them  to  the  prince : 
which  done  they  comming  al  with  him  to  a  barre,  which 
is  at  the  nether  ende  of  the  upper  house,  there  he  first 
praiseth  the  prince,  then  maketh  his  excuse  of  unabilitie, 

D  2  51 


and  prayeth  the  prince  that  he  would  command  the 
commons  to  choose  another.  The  chancellor  in  the 
princes  name  doth  so  much  declare  him  able,  as  he 
did  declare  himselfe  unable,  and  thanketh  the  commons 
for  choosing  so  wise,  discreete  and  eloquent  a  man, 
and  willeth  them  to  go  and  consult  of  lawes  for  the 
common  wealth.  Then  the  speaker  maketh  certaine 
requests  to  the  prince  in  the  name  of  the  commons, 
first  that  his  majestie  would  be  content  that  they  may 
use  and  enjoy  all  their  liberties  and  priviledges  that  the 
common  house  was  wont  to  enjoy.  Secondly  that 
they  might  franckely  and  freely  saye  their  mindes  in 
disputing  of  such  matters  as  may  come  in  question, 
and  that  without  offence  to  his  Majestie.  Thirdly 
that  if  any  should  chaunce  of  that  lower  house  to 
offend  or  not  to  do  or  say  as  should  become  him,  or 
if  any  should  offend  any  of  them  being  called  to  that 
his  highnes  court :  That  they  themselves  might  (ac- 
cording to  the  ancient  custome)  have  the  punishment 
v/of  them.  And  fourthly,  that  if  there  came  any  doubt, 
whereupon  they  shal  desire  to  have  thadvise  or  con- 
ference with  his  Majestie  or  with  any  of  the  Lordes, 
that  they  might  doe  it:  All  which  he  promiseth  in 
the  commons  names  that  they  shall  not  abuse,  but 
have  such  regarde  as  most  faithfull,  true  and  loving 
subjectes  ought  to  have  to  their  prince. 

The  Chauncelor  answereth  in  the  princes  name,  as 
apperteyneth.  And  this  is  all  that  is  doone  for  one 
day,  and  sometime  two.  Besides  the  Chauncelor, 
there  is  one  in  the  upper  house  who  is  called  Clarke 
of  the  Parliament,  who  readeth  the  bils.  For  all  that 
commeth  in  consultation  either  in  the  upper  house 
or  in  the   neather  house,  is   put    in   writing   first    in 


ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

paper,  which  being  once  read,  he  that  will,  riseth  up 
and  speaketh  with  it  or  against  it :  and  so  one  after 
another  so  long  as  they  shall  thinke  good.  That  doone 
they  goe  to  another,  and  so  an  other  bill.  After  it 
hath  bin  once  or  twise  read,  and  doth  appeare  that 
it  is  somewhat  liked  as  reasonable,  with  such  amend- 
ment in  wordes  and  peradventure  some  sentences  as 
by  disputation  seemeth  to  be  amended :  In  the  upper 
house  the  Chauncelor  asketh  if  they  will  have  it  en- 
grossed, that  is  to  say  put  into  parchment :  which 
doone,  and  read  the  third  time,  and  that  eftsoones  if 
any  be  disposed  to  object  disputed  againe  among  them, 
the  Chauncelor  asketh  if  they  will  goe  to  the  question : 
and  if  they  agree  to  goe  to  the  question,  then  he  sayth, 
here  is  such  a  lawe  or  act  concerning  such  a  matter, 
which  hath  beene  thrise  read  here  in  this  house,  are 
ye  content  that  it  be  enacted  or  no?  If  the  not 
contentes  be  moe,  then  the  bill  is  dashed,  that  is  to 
say  the  lawe  is  annihilated  and  goeth  no  further.  If 
the  contentes  be  the  more,  then  the  Clarke  writeth 
underneath :  Soit  bailie  aux  commons.  And  so  when 
they  see  time  they  send  such  bils  as  they  have  ap- 
prooved  by  two  or  three  of  those  which  doe  sit  on 
the  woolsacks  to  the  commons:  who  asking  licence, 
and  comming  into  the  house,  with  due  reverence,  sayth 
to  the  speaker :  Master  speaker,  my  Lordes  of  the 
upper  house  have  passed  among  them  and  thinke  good, 
that  there  should  be  enacted  by  Parliament  such  an 
act,  and  such  an  act,  and  so  readeth  the  titles  of  that 
act  or  actes.  They  pray  you  to  consider  of  them,  and 
shew  them  your  advise,  which  doone  they  goe  their 
way.  They  being  gone  and  the  doore  againe  shut, 
the  speaker  rehearseth  to  the  house  what  they  sayde. 



And  if  they  be  not  busie  disputing  at  that  time  in  an 
other  bill,  he  asketh  them  streightwaie  if  they  will  have 
that  bill  or  (if  there  be  mo)  one  of  them. 

In  like  maner  in  the  lower  house  the  speaker  sitting 
in  a  seate  or  chaire  for  that  purpose  somewhat  higher, 
that  he  may  see  and  be  seene  of  them  all,  hath  before 
him  in  a  lower  seate  his  Clarke,  who  readeth  such 
bils  as  be  first  propounded  in  the  lower  house,  or  be 
sent  down  from  the  Lords.  For  in  that  point  ech 
house  hath  equal  authoritie,  to  propounde  what  they 
thinke  meete,  either  for  thabrogating  of  some  law 
made  before,  or  for  making  of  a  newe.  All  bils  be 
thrise  in  three  diverse  dayes  read  and  disputed  upon, 
before  they  come  to  the  question.  In  the  disputing  is 
a  mervelous  good  order  used  in  the  lower  house.  He 
that  standeth  uppe  bareheadded  is  understanded  that  he 
will  speake  to  the  bill.  If  moe  stande  uppe,  who  that 
first  is  judged  to  arise,  is  first  harde,  though  the  one  doe 
prayse  the  law,  the  other  diswade  it,  yet  there  is  no 
altercation.  For  everie  man  speaketh  as  to  the  speaker, 
not  as  one  to  an  other,  for  that  is  against  the  order 
of  the  house.  It  is  also  taken  against  the  order,  to 
name  him  whom  ye  doe  confute,  but  by  circumlo- 
cution, as  he  that  speaketh  with  the  bill,  or  he  that 
spake  against  the  bill,  and  gave  this  and  this  reason. 
And  so  with  perpetuall  Oration  not  with  altercation, 
he  goeth  through  till  he  do  make  an  end.  He  that 
once  hath  spoken  in  a  bill  though  he  be  confuted 
straight,  that  day  may  not  replie,  no  though  he  would 
chaunge  his  opinion.  So  that  to  one  bill  in  one  day 
one  may  not  in  that  house  speake  twise,  for  else  one 
or  two  with  altercation  woulde  spende  all  the  time. 
The  next  day  he  may,  but  then  also  but  once. 


ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

No  reviling  or  nipping  wordes  must  be  used.  For 
then  all  the  house  will  crie,  it  is  against  the  order : 
and  if  any  speake  unreverently  or  seditiouslie  against 
the  Prince  or  the  privie  counsell,  I  have  seene  them 
not  onely  interrupted,  but  it  hath  beene  moved  after 
to  the  house,  and  they  have  sent  them  to  the  tower. 
So  that  in  such  a  multitude,  and  in  such  diversitie 
of  mindes,  and  opinions,  there  is  the  greatest  modestie 
and  temperance  of  speech  that  can  be  used.  Never- 
thelesse  with  much  doulce  and  gentle  termes,  they 
make  their  reasons  as  violent  and  as  vehement  the 
one  against  the  other  as  they  may  ordinarily,  except 
it  bee  for  urgent  causes  and  hasting  of  time.  At  the 
afternoone  they  keepe  no  parliament.  The  speaker 
hath  no  voice  in  the  house,  nor  they  will  not  suffer 
him  to  speake  in  any  bill  to  moove  or  diswade  it. 
But  when  any  bill  is  read,  the  speakers  office  is  as 
brieflie  and  as  plainely  as  he  may  to  declare  the  effect 
thereof  to  the  house.  If  the  commons  doe  assent  to 
such  billes  as  be  sent  to  them  first  agreed  upon  from 
the  Lords  thus  subscribed,  Les  commons  ont  assentus,  so 
if  the  Lordes  doe  agree  to  such  billes  as  be  first  agreed 
uppon  by  the  Commons,  they  sende  them  downe  to 
the  speaker  thus  subscribed,  Les  Seigneurs  ont  assentus. 
If  they  cannot  agree,  the  two  houses  (for  everie  bill 
from  whence  soever  it  doth  come  is  thrise  reade  in 
each  of  the  houses)  if  it  be  understoode  that  there  is 
any  sticking,  sometimes  the  Lordes  to  the  Commons, 
somtime  the  Commons  to  the  Lords  doe  require  that  a 
certaine  of  each  house  may  meete  together,  and  so  ech 
part  to  be  enformed  of  others  meaning,  and  this  is 
alwaies  graunted.  After  which  meeting  for  the  most 
part  not  alwaies  either  parte  agrees  to  others  billes. 



In  the  upper  house  they  give  their  assent  and 
dissent  ech  man  severallie  and  by  himselfe  first  for 
himselfe,  and  then  for  so  manie  as  he  hath  proxie. 
When  the  Chaunceler  hath  demanded  of  them  whether 
they  will  goe  to  the  question  after  the  bill  hath  beene 
thrise  reade,  they  saying  only  content  or  not  con- 
tent, without  further  reasoning  or  replying:  and  as 
the  more  number  doeth  agree,  so  is  it  agreed  on,  or 

In  the  neather  house  none  of  them  that  is  elected 
either  Knight  or  Burges  can  give  his  voice  to  an 
other  nor  his  consent  nor  dissent  by  proxie.  The 
more  parte  of  them  that  be  present  onely  maketh  the 
consent  or  dissent.  After  the  bill  hath  beene  twise 
reade,  and  then  engrossed  and  eftsoones  reade  and  dis- 
puted on  ynough  as  is  thought :  the  speaker  asketh 
if  they  will  goe  to  the  question.  And  if  they  agree 
he  holdeth  the  bill  up  in  his  hande  and  sayeth,  as 
many  as  will  have  this  bill  goe  forwarde,  which  is 
concerning  such  a  matter,  say  yea.  Then  they  which 
allowe  the  bill  crie  yea,  and  as  many  as  will  not,  say 
no :  as  the  crie  of  yea  or  no  is  bigger,  so  the  bill 
is  allowed  or  dashed.  If  it  be  a  doubt  which  crie  is 
the  bigger,  they  divide  the  house,  the  speaker  saying, 
as  many  as  doe  alowe  the  bill  goe  downe  with  the 
bill,  and  as  many  as  do  not  sitte  still.  So  they  divide 
themselves,  and  being  so  divided  they  are  numbred 
who  make  the  more  part,  and  so  the  bill  doeth  speede. 
It  chaunceth  sometime  that  some  part  of  the  bil  is 
allowed,  some  other  part  hath  much  contrariety  and 
doubt  made  of  it :  and  it  is  thought  if  it  were  amended 
it  would  goe  forwarde.  Then  they  chuse  certaine 
committees  of  them  who  have  spoken  with  the  bil  and 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

against  it  to  amende  it,  and  bring  it  in  againe  so  amended, 
as  they  amongest  them  shall  thinke  meete :  and  this 
is  before  it  is  engrossed,  yea  and  some  time  after. 
But  the  agreement  of  these  committees  is  no  prejudice 
to  the  house.  For  at  the  last  question  they  will 
either  accept  it  or  dash  it  as  it  shall  seeme  good, 
notwithstanding  that  whatsoever  the  committees  have 

Thus  no  bill  is  an  act  of  Parliament,  ordinaunce, 
or  edict  of  law,  untill  both  the  houses  severallie  have 
agreed  unto  it,  after  the  order  aforesaide,  no  nor  then 
neither.  But  the  last  day  of  that  Parliament  or  session 
the  Prince  commeth  in  person  in  his  Parliament  robes, 
and  sitteth  in  his  state :  all  the  upper  house  sitteth 
about  the  Prince  in  their  states  and  order  in  their 
robes.  The  speaker  with  all  the  common  house  com- 
meth to  the  barre,  and  there  after  thankes  given  first 
in  the  Lordes  name  by  the  Chaunceller  &c.  and  in 
the  commons  name  by  the  speaker  to  the  Prince,  for 
that  hee  hath  so  great  care  of  the  good  governement 
of  his  people,  and  for  calling  them  together  to  advise 
of  such  thinges  as  should  be  for  the  reformation, 
establishing  and  ornament  of  the  common  wealth  :  the 
Chaunceller  in  the  Princes  name  giveth  thankes  to 
the  Lords  and  commons  for  their  paines  and  travailes 
taken,  which  he  saith  the  Prince  will  remember  and 
recompence  when  time  and  occasion  shall  serve,  and 
that  he  for  his  part  is  ready  to  declare  his  pleasure 
concerning  their  proceedings,  whereby  the  same  may 
have  perfect  life  and  accomplishment  by  his  princelie 
authoritie,  and  so  have  the  whole  consent  of  the 
Realme.  Then  one  reades  the  title  of  everie  act  which 
hath  passed  at  that  session,  but  only  in  this  fashion : 



An  act  concerning  such  a  thing  &c.  It  is  marked 
there  what  the  Prince  doth  allowe,  and  to  such  he 
sayth :  Le  roy  or  la  royne  le  veult.  And  those  be  taken 
nowe  as  perfect  lawes  and  ordinances  of  the  Realme 
of  Englande  and  none  other,  and  as  shortlie  as  may 
be  put  in  print,  except  it  be  some  private  cause  or  lawe 
made  for  the  benefit  or  prejudice  of  some  private  man, 
which  the  Romans  were  wont  to  call  privilegia. 
These  be  onelie  exemplified  under  the  seale  of  the 
Parliament,  and  for  the  most  part  not  printed.  To 
those  which  the  Prince  liketh  not,  he  answereth,  Le 
roy  or  la  royne  saduisera,  and  those  be  accounted  utterly 
dashed  and  of  no  effect. 

This  is  the  order  and  forme  of  the  highest  and 
most  authenticall  court  of  Englande,  by  vertue  whereof 
all  those  things  be  established  whereof  I  spake  before, 
and  no  other  meanes  accounted  vailable  to  make  any 
new  forfaiture  of  life,  member,  or  landes  of  any 
English  man,  where  there  was  no  lawe  ordayned  for 
it  before.  Nowe  let  us  speake  of  the  saide  partes 
when  they  be  severall. 

Of  the  Monarch  King  or  Queene 

of  Englande. 
Chap.  3. 

THe  Prince  whom  I  nowe  call  (as  I  have  often 
before)  the  Monarch  of  Englande,  King  or 
Queene,  hath  absolutelie  in  his  power  the  authoritie 
of  warre  and  peace,  to  defie  what  Prince  it  shall  please 
him,  and  to  bid  him  warre,  and  againe  to  reconcile 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

himselfe  and  enter  into  league  or  truce  with  him  at 
his  pleasure  or  the  advice  onely  of  his  privie  counsell. 
His  privie  counsell  be  chosen  also  at  the  Princes 
pleasure  out  of  the  nobilitie  or  baronie,  and  of  the 
Knightes,  and  Esquiers,  such  and  so  many  as  he  shal 
thinke  good,  who  doth  consult  daily,  or  when  neede 
is  of  the  weightie  matters  of  the  Realme,  to  give 
therein  to  their  Prince  the  best  advice  they  can.  The 
Prince  doth  participate  to  them  all,  or  so  many"  of 
them,  as  he  shall  thinke  good,  such  legations  and 
messages  as  come  from  forren  Princes,  such  letters  or 
occurrentes  as  be  sent  to  himselfe  or  to  his  secretaries, 
and  keepeth  so  many  ambassades  and  letters  sent  unto 
him  secret  as  he  will,  although  these  have  a  particular 
oth  of  a  counceller  touching  faith  and  secrets  ad- 
ministred  unto  them  when  they  be  first  admitted  into 
that  companie.  So  that  heerein  the  kingdome  of 
Englande  is  farre  more  absolute  than  either  the  duke- 
dome  of  Venice  is,  or  the  kingdome  of  the  Lacede- 
monians was.  In  warre  time,  and  in  the  field  the 
Prince  hath  also  absolute  power,  so  that  his  worde 
is  a  law,  he  may  put  to  death,  or  to  other  bodilie 
punishment,  whom  he  shall  thinke  so  to  deserve, 
without  processe  of  lawe  or  forme  of  judgement.  This 
hath  beene  sometime  used  within  the  Realme  before 
any  open  warre  in  sodden  insurrections  and  rebellions, 
but  that  not  allowed  of  wise  and  grave  men,  who  in 
that  their  judgement  had  consideration  of  the  conse- 
quence and  example,  asmuch  as  of  the  present  necessitie, 
especiallie,  when  by  anie  meanes  the  punishment 
might  have  beene  doone  by  order  of  lawe.  This 
absolute  power  is  called  marciall  lawe,  and  ever  was 
and  necessarilie  must  be  used  in  all  campes  and  hostes 



of  men,  where  the  time  nor  place  do  suffer  the 
tariance  of  pleading  and  processe,  be  it  never  so 
short,  and  the  important  necessitie  requireth  speedie 
execution,  that  with  more  awe  the  souldier  might 
be  kept  in  more  straight  obedience,  without  which 
never  captaine  can  doe  anie  thing  vaileable  in  the 

The  prince  useth  also  absolute  power  in  crying 
and  decreeing  the  mony  of  the  realme  by  his  pro- 
clamation onely.  The  mony  is  alwayes  stamped  with 
the  princes  image  and  title.  The  forme,  fashion, 
maner,  weight,  finenesse,  and  basenesse  therof,  is  at 
the  discretion  of  the  prince.  For  whom  should  the 
people  trust  more  in  that  matter  than  their  prince, 
seeing  the  coine  is  only  to  certifie  the  goodnes  of  the 
mettall  and  the  weight,  which  is  affirmed  by  the 
princes  image  and  marke?  But  if  the  prince  will 
deceave  them  and  give  them  copper  for  silver  or  golde, 
or  enhaunce  his  coyne  more  than  it  is  worth,  he  is 
deceaved  himselfe,  aswell  as  he  doth  goe  about  to 
deceave  his  subjectes.  For  in  the  same  sort  they  pay 
the  prince  his  rentes  and  customes.  And  in  time 
they  will  make  him  pay  rateably  or  more  for  meate, 
drinke  and  victualles  for  him  and  his,  and  for  their 
labour :  which  experience  doth  teach  us  nowe  in  our 
dayes  to  be  doone  in  all  regions.  For  there  ever  hath 
beene,  and  ever  wil  be  a  certaine  proportion  betweene 
the  scarcity  and  plentie  of  other  thinges,  with  gold  and 
silver,  as  I  have  declared  more  at  large  in  my  booke  of 
monie.  For  all  other  measures  and  weightes,  aswell 
of  drie  thinges  as  of  wet,  they  have  accustomed  to  be 
established  or  altered  by  the  Parliament,  and  not  by 
the  princes  proclamation  only. 

.     ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

The  prince  useth  also  to  dispence  with  lawes  made, 
whereas  equitie  requireth  a  moderation  to  be  had,  and 
with  paynes  for  transgression  of  lawes,  where  the 
payne  of  the  lawe  is  applyed  onely  to  the  prince.  But 
where  the  forfaite  (as  in  popular  actions  it  chaunceth 
many  times)  is  part  to  the  prince,  the  other  part  to 
the  declarator,  detector  or  informer,  there  the  prince 
doth  dispence  for  his  owne  part  onely.  Where  the 
criminall  action  is  intended  by  inquisition  (that  maner 
is  called  with  us  at  the  princes  suite)  the  prince  giveth 
absolution  or  pardon  :  yet  with  a  clause,  modo  stet  rectus 
in  curia,  that  is  to  say,  that  no  man  object  against  the 
offendor.  Whereby  notwithstanding  that  he  hath  the 
princes  pardon  if  the  person  offended  will  take  uppon 
him  the  accusation  (which  in  our  language  is  called 
the  appeale)  in  cases  where  it  lieth,  the  princes  pardon 
doth  not  serve  the  offendor. 

The  prince  giveth  all  the  chiefe  and  highest  offices 
or  magistracies  of  the  realme,  be  it  of  judgement  or 
dignitie,  temporall  or  spirituall,  and  hath  the  temhes 
and  first  fruites  of  all  Ecclesiasticall  promotions,  ex- 
cept in  the  Universities  and  certaine  Colledges  which 
be  exempt. 

All  writtes,  executions  and  commaundementes  be 
done  in  the  princes  name.  We  doe  say  in  England 
the  life  and  member  of  the  kinges  subjectes  are  the 
kinges  onely,  that  is  to  say  no  man  hath  hault  nor 
moyenne  justice  but  the  king,  nor  can  hold  plea  thereof. 
And  therefore  all  those  pleas,  which  touche  the  life 
or  the  mutilation  of  man,  be  called  pleas  of  the 
crowne,  nor  can  be  doone  in  the  name  of  any  inferior 
person  than  he  or  shee  that  holdeth  the  crowne  of 
Englande.      And    likewise  no   man   can   give  pardon 



thereof  but  the  prince  onely :  Although  in  times  past 
there  were  certaine  countie  Palatines,  as  Chester, 
Durham,  Elie,  which  were  hault  justicers,  and  writtes 
went  in  their  name,  and  also  some  Lorde  marchers 
of  Wales,  which  claymed  like  priviledge.  All  these 
are  nowe  worne  away.  The  supreme  justice  is  done 
vin  the  kinges  name,  and  by  his  authoritie  onely. 

The  Prince  hath  the  wardshippe  and  first  mariage 
of  all  those  that  hold  landes  of  him  in  chiefe.  And 
also  the  governement  of  all  fooles  naturall,  or  such 
as  be  made  by  adventure  of  sicknes,  and  so  continue, 
if  they  be  landed.  This  being  once  graunted  by  act 
of  Parliament  (although  some  inconvenience  hath 
beene  thought  to  grow  thereof,  and  sith  that  time 
it  hath  beene  thought  verie  unreasonable)  yet  once 
annexed  to  the  crowne  who  ought  to  go  about  to 
take  the  clubbe  out  of  Hercules  hand.  And  being 
governed  justly  and  rightly,  I  see  not  so  much  in- 
convenience in  it,  as  some  men  would  make  of  it : 
diverse  other  rights  and  preeminences  the  prince  hath 
which  be  called  prerogatives  royalles,  or  the  prerogative 
of  the  king,  which  be  declared  particularly  in  the 
bookes  of  the  common  lawes  of  England. 

To  be  short  the  prince  is  the  life,  the  head,  and 
the  authoritie  of  all  thinges  that  be  doone  in  the 
realme  of  England.  And  to  no  prince  is  doone  more 
honor  and  reverence  than  to  the  King  and  Queene 
of  Englande,  no  man  speaketh  to  the  prince  nor 
serveth  at  the  table  but  in  adoration  and  kneeling, 
all  persons  of  the  realme  be  bareheaded  before  him : 
insomuch  that  in  the  chamber  of  presence  where 
the  cloath  of  estate  is  set,  no  man  dare  walke,  yea 
though  the  prince  be  not  there,  no  man  dare  tarrie 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

there  but  bareheaded.  This  is  understood  of  the  sub- 
jectes  of  the  realme :  For  all  strangers  be  suffered  there 
and  in  all  places  to  use  the  maner  of  their  countrie, 
such  is  the  civilitie  of  our  nation. 

The  chiefe  pointes  wherein  one  common 
wealth  doth  differ  from  an  other. 

Chap.  4. 

NOw  that  we  have  spoken  of  the  parliament 
(which  is  the  whole  universall  and  generall 
consent  and  authoritie  aswell  of  the  prince  as  of  the 
nobilitie  and  commons,  that  is  to  say,  of  the  whole 
head  and  bodie  of  the  realme  of  England)  and  also 
of  the  prince,  (which  is  the  head,  life  and  governor 
of  this  common  wealth) :  there  remaineth  to  shewe, 
how  this  head  doth  distribute  his  authoritie  and  power 
to  the  rest  of  the  members  for  the  government  of  his 
realme,  and  the_  common  wealth  of  the  politique  bodie 
of  England.  And  whereas  all  common  wealthes  and 
governmentes  be  most  occupyed,  and  be  most  diverse 
in  the  fashion  of  five  thinges:  in  making  of  lawes 
and  ordinaunces,  for  their  owne  goverment :  in 
making  of  battell  and  peace,  or  truce  with  forraine 
nations:  in  providing  of  mony  for  the  maintenance 
of  themselves,  within  themselves,  and  defence  of  them- 
selves against  their  enemies:  in  choosing  and  election 
of  the  chiefe  officers  and  magistrates :  and  fiftly  in  the 
administration  of  justice.  The  first  and  third  we  have 
shewed  is  doone  by  the  prince  in  parliament.  The 
seconde  and  fourth  by  the  prince  himselfe.  I  The  fift 
remaineth  to  be  declared. 



Of  the  three  maners  and  formes  of  trialles 

or  judgementes  in  England. 

Chap.  5. 

~P)  Y  order  and  usage  of  Englande  there  is  three 
JL/  wayes  and  maners,  whereby  absolute  and  de- 
finite judgement  is  given,  by  parliament  which  is  the 
highest  and  most  absolute,  by  battle  and  by  the  great 

Triall  or  judgement  by  parliament. 

Chap.  6. 

s  r  I  ^He  matter  of  giving  judgement  by  parliament 
JL  betweene  private  and  private  man,  or  betweene 
the  prince  and  any  private  man,  be  it  in  matters 
criminall  or  civill,  for  land  or  for  heritage  doth  not 
differ  from  thorder  which  I  have  prescribed,  but  it  pro- 
ceedeth  by  bill  thrise  read  in  ech  house  and  assented 
to  as  I  have  saide  before,  and  at  the  last  day  confirmed 
and  allowed  by  the  prince.  Howbeit  such  bils  be 
seeldome  receaved,  because  that  great  counsell  being 
enough  occupyed  with  the  publique  affaires  of  the 
realme,  will  not  gladly  intermedle  it  selfe  with  private 
quarels  and  questions. 

Triall  of  judgement  by  battle. 

Chap.  7. 

'T""sHis    is   at    this    present    not    much    used,    partly 

JL        because  of  long  time  the  Pope  and  the  cleargie 

to  whom  in  times  past  we  were  much  subject,  alwayes 


ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

cryed  against  it  as  a  thing  damnable  and  unlawful, 
and  partly  because  in  all  common  wealthes  (as  to  the 
tongue)  so  to  the  maners,  fashions,  habits,  yea  and 
kindes  of  trials  and  judgmentes,  and  to  all  other 
thinges  that  is  therein  used,  time  and  space  of  yeares 
bringeth  a  chaunge.  But  I  could  not  yet  learne  that 
it  was  ever  abrogated.  So  that  it  remaineth  in  force, 
whensoever  it  be  demanded.  The  maner  of  it  is 
described  in  Briton.  / 

The  triall  by  assise  or  xij.  men,  &  first  of  the 

three  partes  which  be  necessary  in  judgement. 
Chap.  8. 

THe  two  first  judgementes  be  absolute  supreme 
and  without  appeale,  and  so  is  also  the  judge- 
ment by  the  great  assise.  And  because  our  manner 
of  judgementes  in  England  is  in  many  thinges  different 
from  the  fashion  used  either  in  Fraunce,  or  in  Italie, 
or  in  any  other  place  where  the  Emperors  lawes  and 
constitutions  (called  the  civill  lawes)  be  put  in  use, 
it  will  be  necessarie  here  to  make  a  litle  digression, 
to  the  intent,  that  that  which  shalbe  said  hereafter 
may  be  better  understood.  All  pursuites  and  actions 
(we  call  them  in  our  English  tongue  pleas)  and  in 
barbarous  (but  now  usuall)  latine  placita,  taking  that 
name  abusive  of  the  definitive  sentence,  which  may  well 
be  called  placitum  or  dpecTov.  The  French  useth  the 
same  calling  in  their  language,  the  sentence  of  their 
judges  areste  or  arest:  in  which  wordes  notwith- 
standing after  their  custome  they  do  not  sounde  the  j, 
but  we  call  placitum  the  action  not  the  sentence,  and 

e  65 


placitare  barbarouslie,  or  to  pleade  in  englishe,  agere  or 
litigare.  Now  in  all  judgements  necessarily  being  two 
parties,  the  first  we  call  the  impleader,  suiter,  de- 
maunder  or  demaundaunt  and  plaintiffe:  In  criminall 
causes  if  he  professe  to  be  an  accuser,  we  call  him 
appellant  or  appellour,  and  so  accusation  we  call 
appeale.  The  other  we  call  the  defendant  and  in 
criminall  causes  prisoner,  for  he  cannot  aunswere  in 
causes  criminall  before  he  do  render  himselfe  or  be 
rendred  prisoner. 

"Judex  is  of  us  called  Judge,  but  our  fashion  is  so 
diverse  that  they  which  give  the  deadly  stroke,  and 
either  condemne  or  acquite  the  man  for  guiltie  or  not 
guiltie,  are  not  called  Judges  but  the  xij.  men.  And 
the  same  order  aswell  is  in  civill  matters  and  pecuni- 
arie,  as  in  matters  criminall. 

Of  pleas  or  actions. 
Chap.  9. 

PLeas  or  actions  criminall  be  in  English  called 
pleas  of  the  crowne,  which  be  all  those  which 
tende  to  take  away  a  mans  life  or  any  member  of 
him,  for  his  evill  deserving  against  the  prince  and 
common  wealth. 

And  this  name  is  given  not  without  a  cause.  For 
taking  this  for  a  principle  that  the  life  and  member 
of  an  Englishman  is  in  the  power  onely  of  the  prince 
and  his  lawes,  when  any  of  his  subjectes  is  spoyled 
either  of  life  or  member,  the  prince  is  endammaged 
thereby,  and  hath  good  cause  to  aske  accompt,  how 
his  subjectes  should  come  to  that  mischiefe.  And 
againe  for  so  much  as  the  prince  who  governeth  the 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

scepter,  and  holdeth  the  crowne  of  Englande  hath 
this  in  his  care  and  charge,  to  see  the  realme  well 
governed,  the  life,  members  and  possessions  of  his 
subjectes  kept  in  peace  and  assuraunce:  he  that  by 
violence  shall  attempt  to  breake  that  peace  and  assur- 
aunce, hath  forfeited  against  the  scepter  and  crowne 
of  England:  and  therfore  not  without  a  cause  in  all 
inquisitions  and  inditementes,  if  any  be  found  by  the 
xij.  men  to  have  offended  in  that  behalfe,  streight  the 
prince  is  saide  to  be  partie,  and  he  that  shall  speake 
for  the  prisoner  shall  be  rebuked,  as  speaking  against 
the  prince.  Neverthelesse  it  is  never  defended,  but 
the  prisoner  and  partie  defendant  in  any  cause  may 
alleadge  for  him,  al  the  reasons,  meanes  and  defences 
that  he  can,  and  shall  be  peaceablie  hearde  and  quietlie : 
But  in  those  pleas  and  pursuites  of  the  crowne,  pro- 
curer or  advocate  he  gettes  none,  which  in  civill  and 
pecuniarie  matters  (be  it  for  land,  rent,  right,  or  pos- 
session, although  he  plead  against  the  prince  himselfe) 
is  never  denied.  / 

Pleas  civill  be  either  personall  or  reall,  personall  as  \ 
contractes  or  for  injuries:  reall  be  either  possessorie 
to  aske,  or  to  keepe  the  possession,  or  in  rem,  which 
we  cal  a  writte  of  right.  For  that  which  in  the  civill 
lawe  is  called  actio  or  formula ,  we  call  a  writ  in  English  : 
so  the  Greekes  called  it  worde  for  word  <ypa<f>r),  and  in 
our  barbarous  latine  we  name  it  breve. 

And  as  the  olde  Romanes  had  their  actions  some 
ex  jure  civili,  and  some  ex  jure  prcetorio^  and  ordinarily 
pr<etor  dab  at  act  tones  &  formulas  actionum :  so  in 
Englande  we  retaine  still  this,  and  have  some  writtes 
out  of  the  chauncerie,  other  out  of  the  common  place 
or  the  kings  bench. 

E  2  67 


Of  the  chiefe  Tribunals,  benches  or 

courtes  of  Englande. 
Chap.  io. 

IN  times  past  (as  may  appeare  to  him  that  shall 
with  judgement  reade  the  histories  and  antiquities 
of  England)  the  courtes  and  benches  followed  the 
king  and  his  court  wheresoever  he  went,  especially 
shortly  after  the  conquest.  Which  thing  being  found 
very  cumbersome,  paineful  and  chargeable  to  the 
people,  it  was  agreed  by  parliament,  that  there  shoulde 
be  a  standing  place  where  judgement  should  be  given. 
And  it  hath  long  time  beene  used  in  Westminster  hall, 
which  king  William  Rufus  builded  for  the  hall  of  his 
owne  house.  In  that  hal  be  ordinarily  seene  3.  Tri- 
bunals or  Judges  seates.  At  the  entrie  on  the  right 
hande,  the  common  place,  where  civill  matters  are 
to  be  pleaded,  specially  such  as  touch  landes  or  con- 
tractes.  At  the  upper  ende  of  the  hall,  on  the  right 
hand,  the  kinges  bench,  where  pleas  of  the  crowne 
have  their  place.  And  on  the  left  hande  sitteth  the 
Chauncelor  accompanyed  with  the  master  of  the 
Roules,  who  in  latine  may  be  called  custos  archivorum 
regis,  and  certaine  men  learned  in  the  civill  lawe  called 
Masters  of  the  chauncerie,  in  latine  they  may  be 
named  Assessores. 


ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

Of  the  times  of  pleading  called  termes,  & 

of  the  Chauncelor  and  chauncerie. 
Chap.  ii. 

TWo  things  may  be  moved  in  question  here,  how 
all  Englande  (being  so  long  and  so  large,  and 
having  so  many  shyres  and  provinces  therein)  can  be 
answered  of  justice  in  one  place,  and  in  3.  benches 
be  they  never  so  great?  An  other  (whereas  the 
kinges  bench  is  exercised  in  criminall  causes  and  in 
all  pleas  of  the  crowne,  and  the  common  place  in  all 
civill  causes,  reall  and  personall)  what  place  then  hath 
the  chauncerie? 

The  first  question  will  seeme  more  marvelous  and 
have  more  occasion  of  doubt,  when  I  shall  also  tell 
that  the  lawe  is  not  open  at  all  times,  no  not  the 
third  part  of  the  yeare.  But  where  all  other  cities 
and  common  wealthes  had  all  the  yeare  pleas,  suites, 
and  judgementes.  except  for  certaine  holy  daies  and 
harvest  and  vintage,  or  when  for  some  urgent  cause 
the  lawe  was  commaunded  to  be  stopped,  which  is 
called  Justitium:  Contrarie  in  ours,  it  is  but  fewe  times 
open.  That  is  onely  foure  times  in  the  yeare  which 
they  call  termes.  After  Michaelmas  about  ten  daies, 
during  five  or  sixe  weekes  at  the  least.  After  Christ- 
mas about  a  moneth,  enduring  by  the  space  of  three 
weekes.  Then  from  xvii.  dayes  after  Easter  by  the 
space  of  three  weekes  and  odde  dayes.  Likewise  from 
the  sixt  or  seventh  day  after  Trinitie  Sunday,  during 
two  weekes  and  odde  daies.  All  the  rest  of  the  yeare 
there  is  no  pleading,  entring  nor  pursuing  of  actions. 



This  small  time,  and  all  that  but  in  one  place  may 
seeme  verie  injurious  to  the  people,  who  must  be  faine 
to  suffer  much  wrong  for  lacke  of  Justice  and  of  place 
and  time  to  pleade :  but  unto  that  heereafter  I  entende 
to  answere  more  fully,  and  in  the  meane  while  that 
shall  suffice  which  the  wise  Cato  aunswered  to  one 
who  mooved  that  the  pleading  place  in  Rome  might 
be  covered  over  with  canvas  as  their  theaters  were, 
to  the  intent  that  the  plaintifes  and  defendauntes  that 
were  there  might  plead  their  matters  more  at  ease, 
and  not  be  in  so  much  danger  of  their  health  by  the 
heate  of  the  sunne  striking  full  and  open  upon  their 
heades,  which  was  no  smal  griefe  and  disease,  specially 
at  Rome.  Nay  (saith  Cato)  for  my  part  I  had  rather 
wish  that  all  the  waies  to  the  place  of  pleading  were 
cast  over  with  galthrops,  that  the  feete  of  such  as  love 
so  well  pleading,  should  feele  so  much,  paine  of  those 
prickes  in  going  thither  as  their  heades  doe  of  the  sunne 
in  tarrying  there :  he  ment  that  they  were  but  idle, 
whot  heades,  busie  bodies,  and  troublesome  men  in  the 
common  wealth  that  did  so  nourish  pleading :  good 
labourers  and  quiet  men  could  bee  content  to  ende  their 
matters  at  home  by  judgement  of  their  neighbours 
and  kinsfolke  without  spending  so  their  money  upon 
procurers  and  advocates  whom  we  call  attornies,  coun- 
selled, Sergeantes,  and  generallie  men  of  lawe.  Those 
he  accounted  profitable  citizens,  who  attende  their 
honest  labour  and  businesse  at  home,  and  not  stande 
waiting  and  gaping  uppon  their  rolles  and  processe  in 
the  lawe :  as  for  the  other  by  his  judgement,  it  was 
S  no  matter  what  mischiefe  they  suffered.  To  the  other 
question  of  the  chancerie,  this  I  answere :  That  our 
lawe  which  is  called  of  us  the  common  lawe  as  ye 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

would  say  "Jus  civile,  is  and  standeth  upon  a/cptySo- 
Si/cais,  that  is  Jus  summum :  and  their  maximees  be 
taken  so  straitlie  that  they  may  not  depart  from  the 
tenour  of  the  wordes  even  as  the  olde  civill  lawe  was. 
And  therefore  as  that  lacked  the  helpe  of  a  Preetor 
(which  might  moderari  Mud  jus  summum,  give  actions 
where  none  was,  mitigate  the  exactnesse  and  rigour 
of  the  lawe  written,  give  exceptions,  as  metus,  doli 
mali,  minoris  cetatis,  Cffc.  for  remedies,  and  maintaine 
alwaies  cequum  &  bonum :)  the  same  order  and  rancke 
holdeth  our  chauncerie,  and  the  chauncellor  hath  the 
verie  authoritie  heerein  as  had  the  Prater  in  the  olde 
civill  law  before  the  time  of  the  Emperours.  So  he 
that  putteth  up  his  bill  in  the  chauncerie,  after  that 
he  hath  declared  the  mischiefe  wherein  he  is,  hath 
releefe  as  in  the  solemne  forum.  And  for  so  much 
as  in  this  case  hee  is  without  remedie  in  the  common 
lawe,  therefore  he  requireth  the  chauncellor  according 
to  equitie  and  reason  to  provide  for  him  and  to  take 
such  order  as  to  good  conscience  shall  appertaine.  And 
the  court  of  the  chauncerie  is  called  of  the  common 
people  the  court  of  conscience,  because  that  the  chaun- 
cellor is  not  strained  by  rigour  or  forme  of  wordes  of 
lawe  to  judge  but  ex  aquo  and  bono,  and  according 
to  conscience  as  I  have  said.  And  in  this  court  the 
usuall  and  proper  forme  of  pleading  of  Englande  is 
not  used,  but  the  forme  of  pleading  by  writing, 
which  is  used  in  other  countries  according  to  the 
civill  lawe :  and  the  tryall  is  not  by  xii.  men,  but  by 
the  examination  of  witnesse  as  in  other  courtes  of 
the  civil  lawe.  / 



Of  Judges  in  the  common  lawe  of 

England,  and  the  manner  of  tryall 
and  pleading  there. 

Chap.  12. 

THe  Prince  out  of  the  numbers  of  those  who  have 
beene  Counsellers  or  Sergeants  at  the  law, 
which  be  those  who  in  latin  are  called  causidici  or 
advocati,  chooseth  two  of  the  most  approoved  for 
learning,  age,  discretion,  and  exercise,  of  whom  the 
one  is  called  chiefe  Justice  of  the  Kings  bench,  or 
simply  chiefe  Justice,  the  other  chiefe  Justice  of  the 
common  place,  and  others  to  the  number  of  sixe  or 
more,  which  have  each  an  ordinarie  fee  or  stipend  of 
the  Prince. 

These  doe  sit  at  such  daies  as  be  terme,  which  may 
be  called  Dies  legitimi  juridici  or  fasti,  in  their  distinct 
places  as  I  have  said  before.  There  they  heare  the 
pleading  of  all  matters  which  doe  come  before  them : 
and  in  civill  matters  where  the  pleading  is  for  money 
or  land  or  possession,  part  by  writing,  and  part  by 
declaration  and  altercation  of  the  advocates  the  one 
with  thother,  it  doeth  so  proceede  before  them  till  it 
doe  come  to  the  issue,  which  the  latines  doe  call 
statum  causa,  I  doe  not  meane  contestationem  litis,  but  as 
the  Rhetoritians  doe  call  statum,  we  doe  most  properly 
call  it  the  issue,  for  there  is  the  place  where  the 
debate  and  strife  remaineth  (as  a  water  held  in  a 
close  and  darke  vessel  issueth  out,  is  voided  and 
emptied)  and  no  where  else :  that  stroke  well  striken 
is  the  departing  of  all  the  quarelles.  Issues  or  status 
in  our  lawe  bee  ordinarily  two,  facti  and  juris. 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

Of  the  two  manner  of  issues. 
Chap.  13. 

IF  the  question  be  of  the  la  we,  that  is  if  both  the 
parties  doe  agree  upon  the  fact,  and  each  doe 
claime  that  by  lawe  he  ought  to  have  it,  and  will 
still  in  that  sort  maintaine  their  right,  then  it  is  called 
a  demurrer  in  lawe:  where  if  in  the  lawe  the  case 
seeme  to  the  Judges  that  sitte  doubtfull,  it  is  called 
a  checkerchamber  case,  and  all  the  Judges  will  meete 
together,  and  what  they  shall  pronounce  to  be  the 
lawe,  that  is  helde  for  right,  and  the  other  partie 
looseth  his  action  or  lande  for  ever.  If  the  Sergeants 
or  counsellors  doe  stand  upon  anie  point  in  the  law 
which  is  not  so  doubtfull,  the  Judges  who  be  taken 
for  most  experte  biddes  him  goe  forwarde :  and  if  he 
hath  no  other  to  say  but  standeth  uppon  that  point  of 
the  lawe,  that  bidding  goe  forwarde  is  taken  that  he 
looseth  his  action,  and  the  defendant  is  licensed  to 
depart  without  a  day :  and  this  is  where  the  issue  or 
question  is  of  the  lawe  or  Juris.  So  is  that  case 
where  the  lawe  is  not  doubtfull  according  to  the 
matter  contayned  in  the  declaration,  answere,  repli- 
cation, rejoinder  or  triplication,  the  Judge  out  of  hande 
decideth  it.  And  it  is  the  manner  that  each  partie  must 
agree  to  the  other  stil  in  the  fact  which  he  cannot 
denie.  For  if  he  once  come  to  denie  any  deede  as 
not  doone,  not  his  writing,  that  the  man  by  whome 
the  adversarie  claimeth  was  not  the  adversaries  aun- 
cestor,  or  the  evidence  which  his  adversarie  bringeth 
is  not  true,  or  that  his  gift  was  former,  or  any  such 



like  exception  which  is  vaileable  to  abate  the  action  or 
barre  the  partie :  and  the  other  joyneth  in  the  affirma- 
tive and  will  averre  and  prove  the  same,  this  is  called 
the   issue,  and    immediatly  all  question  of  the    lawe 
ceaseth   as  agreed   by   both  the  parties,  that  there  is 
no  question  in  the  lawe.     Then  as  that  issue  facti  is 
founde   by   the  xij   men   of  whom  wee  shall  speake 
heareafter,  so  the  one  partie  or  other  looseth  his  cause 
and  action :  so  that  contrarie  to  the  maner  of  the  civill 
lawe  where   first  the  fact   is  examined  by  witnesses, 
indices,  tormentes  and  such   like  probations  to  finde 
out  the  truth  thereof,  and  that    doone   the  advocats 
doe  dispute  of  the  lawe  to  make  of  it  what  they  can : 
saying,  ex  facto  jus  oritur  :    heere   the  Sergeantes  or 
counsellers  before  the  Judges  doe  in  passing  forewarde 
Vith  their  pleading  determine  and  agree  upon  the  lawe, 
and  for  the  most  part  and  in  manner  all  actions  as 
well    criminal    as  civill,  come  to  the   issue  and  state 
of  some  fact  which  is  denied  of  the  one  partie,  and 
averred  of  the  other :   which  fact  being  tried  by  the 
xij  men  as  they  find,  so  the  action  is  wonne  or  lost. 
/     And /if    a   man    have    many    peremptorie   exceptions 
(peremptorie  exceptions  I  call  onely  those  which  can 
make    the   state   and    issue)  because   the  xij   men   be 
commonly  rude  and  ignorant,  the  partie  shalbe  com- 
pelled to  choose  one  exception  whereupon  to  founde 
his  issue,   which    chosen    if   he   faile    in   that   by  the 
verdite  of  xij   men,  he  looseth  his  action  and  cause, 
and  the  rest  can  serve  him  for  nothing. 

Having  seene  both  in  France  and  other  places 
manie  devises,  edictes  and  ordinaunces  howe  to  abridge 
proces  and  to  finde  howe  that  long  suites  in  law 
might    be   made   shorter:    I  have    not    perceived   nor 


ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

reade  as  yet  so  wise,  so  just,  and  so  well  devised 
a  meane  found  out  as  this  by  any  man  among  us 
in  Europe. 

Trueth  it  is  that  where  this  fashion  hath  not 
beene  used  and  to  them  to  whom  it  is  newe,  it  will 
not  be  so  easily  understood,  and  therfore  they  may 
peradventure  be  of  contrarie  judgement :  but  the  more 
they  doe  weigh  and  consider  it,  the  more  reasonable 
they  shall  finde  it. 

Howe  the  issue,  question  or  status  juris  is  decided, 
I  have  tolde :  now  I  will  shewe  howe  it  is  tryed  when 
it  doth  come  to  the  question,  state  or  issue  of  the 
deede  or  fact.  And  first  I  must  speake  more  largely 
of  the  manner  of  proceeding  in  the  processe,  and 
of  such  persons  as  be  necessary  for  the  execution 

Of  the  sherife  of  the  shire,  and  of  the 

court  of  exchequer. 
Chap.  14. 

THe  Romans  had  to  execute  the  commaunde- 
mentes  of  the  magistrates  Lictores,  viatoresy 
accensos.  The  civill  lawe  sith  that  time  hath  other 
names,  termes,  and  officers.  The  execution  of  the 
commaundementes  of  the  magistrates  in  England  is 
ordinarily  doone  by  the  sherifes.  The  sherife  (which 
is  as  much  to  say  as  the  Reeve  or  Bayly  of  the  shire) 
is  properly  word  for  word  Questor  provinc'ue :  it  is  he 
which  gathereth  uppe  and  accompteth  for  the  profittes 
of  the  shire,  that  come  to  the  exchequer.  The  ex- 
chequer (which  is  fiscus  principisy  or  ararium  publicum^ 



and  I  cannot  tell  in  what  language  it  is  called  Scac- 
carium,  some  thinks  that  it  was  first  called  statarium, 
because  that  there  was  the  stable  place  to  account  for 
the  revenues  of  the  crowne,  aswell  that  which  came 
of  the  patrimony  which  we  cal  the  demeasnes:  as 
that  which  commeth  of  other  incident  acquisitions  be 
they  rentes,  customes,  tenthes,  quinziesmes,  taxes,  sub- 
sidies, wheresoever  the  Prince  or  his  court  be  according 
to  the  time  and  occasion)  was  a  place  stable,  continual 
and  appointed  for  to  recken  and  account.  The  hearers 
of  the  account  (who  in  latin  may  be  called  tribuni 
esrarij)  have  auditors  under  them  which  the  Latines 
doe  call  Rationales :  but  they  are  the  chiefe  for  the 
accounts  of  the  Prince,  and  may  be  called  Juridici 
rationales^  in  English  we  cal  them  Barons  of  the 
exchequer,  whereof  is  one  who  is  called  the  chiefe 
Baron,  as  Tribunus  or  Juridicus  rationalis  primus  or 
princeps.  The  chiefe  of  all  is  called  high  treasurer 
of  Englande,  as  you  would  say  in  latin  Supremus  cerarij 
anglici  qucestor^  or  Tribunus  cerarius  maximus.  In  this 
court  be  heard  Quadruplatores  (which  we  call  pro- 
moters) which  be  those  that  in  popular  and  penall 
action  be  delatoresy  having  thereby  part  of  the  profit 
by  the  lawe  assigned.  In  this  court  if  anie  question 
be,  it  is  determined  after  the  order  of  the  common 
lawe  of  Englande  by  the  xij  men  as  I  have  saide :  and 
all  customers  which  were  in  latin  called  publicarij 
in  Greeke  TeXdSvai,  do  account  in  this  office.  The 
Sherife  of  the  shire  is  called  in  our  common  latin 
Vicecomes,  as  one  would  say  vicarius  comitis  or  procomes^ 
doing  that  service  to  attende  upon  the  execution  of 
the  commaundementes  of  the  Tribunalles  or  Judges 
which  the  Earle  or  countie  should  doe,  which  Earle  or 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

Countey  for  the  most  part  was  attending  uppon  the 
Prince  in  the  warres  or  otherwise  about  the  Prince 
as  the  worde  beareth,  comes  principis :  whereby  it  may 
appeare  that  the  chief  office  of  the  Countie  or  Earle 
was  to  see  the  kinges  Justice  to  have  course  and  to  be 
well  executed  in  the  shire  or  Countie,  and  the  Princes 
revenues  well  answered  and  brought  in  ararium  prin- 
cipisy  which  is  called  of  us  the  treasurie. 

If  any  fines  or  amerciaments,  which  in  latin  be 
called  multtte,  be  levied  in  anie  of  the  saide  courtes 
upon  any  man,  or  any  arrerages  of  accountes  by  the 
latins  called  reliqua^  of  such  thinges  as  is  of  customes, 
taxes,  subsidies  or  any  other  such  occasions,  the  same 
the  sherife  of  the  shire  doth  gather  and  is  respondent 
therefore  in  the  exchequer.  As  for  other  ordinarie 
rentes  of  patrimoniall  landes  and  most  commonly  for 
the  taxes,  customes,  and  subsidies,  there  be  particular 
receivers  and  collectors  which  doe  answere  it  into  the 
exchequer.  The  sherife  hath  under  him  an  under 
sherife  at  his  charge  and  appointment  learned  somewhat 
in  the  law,  especially  if  he  be  not  learned  himselfe, 
and  divers  bailifes  which  be  called  errantes,  whom  he 
maketh  at  his  pleasure,  who  can  knowe  ech  lande  and 
person  in  the  shire,  and  their  abilitie  to  goe  uppon 
enquestes,  either  to  distreine  or  to  summon  him  to 
appeare  whom  the  sherife  shal  appoint,  and  for  this 
cause  to  the  sherifes  as  to  the  minister  most  proper  of 
the  lawe  the  writtes  be  directed. 

When  any  thing  commeth  to  an  issue  of  the  deede 
or  fact,  there  is  a  writ  or  writing  directed  to  the 
sherife  of  the  shire  where  the  lande  is,  whereupon  the 
controversie  is,  or  where  the  man  dwelleth  of  whome 
the  money  is  demaunded,  which  writ  is  called  venire 



facias.  Then  after  the  same  effect  an  alias,  pluries  or 
distringas  according  to  the  nature  of  the  action  to  the 
returne  of  the  sherife.  And  if  for  any  disobedience  of 
not  comming  and  appearing  there  be  a  fine  (which  the 
latins  doe  call  Multta)  set  upon  any  iurors  head,  the 
sherife  is  charged  with  it,  and  taketh  the  distresses 
which  in  latin  be  called  Pignora,  and  answereth  there- 
fore to  the  exchequer.  The  sherife  also  is  readie  by 
himselfe  or  by  his  undersherife  to  serve  aswell  the 
Justices  of  peace  in  their  quarter  sessions  as  the  Justices 
called  Itinerantes  in  their  great  assises,  when  they  come 
into  the  shire,  which  is  twise  in  the  yeare,  to  dispatch 
and  voide  actions  criminall  and  civil  depending  at  the 
common  law,  and  which  be  come  nowe  to  the  issue. 
He  hath  also  the  charge  of  all  the  prisoners  committed 
to  the  prison  which  we  call  the  gaole,  and  when  any 
is  condemned  to  die,  it  is  his  charge  to  see  the  sentence 
executed.  To  be  short,  he  is  as  it  were  the  generall 
minister  and  highest  for  execution  of  such  commaunde- 
mentes  according  to  the  lawe  as  the  Judges  do  ordaine, 
and  this  is  ynough  for  the  sherife. 

Of  the  xij.  men. 

Chap.  15. 

f\  F  what  manner  and  order  of  men  in  the  common 
V— /  welth  the  xij  men  be  I  have  alreadie  declared. 
The  sherife  alwaies  warneth  xxiiij  to  appeare,  least 
peradventure  any  might  be  sicke  or  have  a  just  cause 
of  absence :  and  if  there  be  not  enowe  to  make  an 
enquest,  the  absentes  be  amersed.  For  although  they 
be  called  xij  men  as  a  man  would  say  duodecim  viri, 
yet  if  they  be  xvj,  xx  or  the  whole  number  of  xxiv,  that 


ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

is  no  matter,  xij  they  must  be  at  the  least  to  make  an 
enquest  or  as  some  call  it  a  quest.  An  enquest  or 
quest  is  called  this  lawefull  kinde  of  tryall  by  xij  men. 
In  actions  civill  which  is  either  of  contractes  or  for 
lande  or  possession  when  so  many  of  those  which  be 
warned  appeare  at  the  call  as  be  able  to  make  an  en- 
quest, which  as  I  saide  before  be  no  lesse  then  xii,  either 
part  when  they  be  come  taketh  their  chalenges  against 
so  many  of  them  as  they  will,  which  be  that  he  may 
not  spende  so  much  lande  a  yeare,  he  is  alied,  feed,  or 
servant  to  his  adverse  partie,  he  is  his  enemie  &c.  And 
two  of  the  whole  number  doe  trie  and  allowe  or  dis- 
allowe  the  rest.  If  after  exceptions  there  be  so  many 
rejected  that  there  is  not  a  full  enquest,  in  some  cases 
that  day  is  lost,  in  some  the  enquest  is  filled  ex  circum- 
stantibus :  when  the  quest  is  ful,  they  be  sworne  to 
declare  the  truth  of  that  issue  according  to  the  evi- 
dence and  their  conscience.  Then  the  Sergeantes  of 
either  side  declare  the  issue,  and  each  for  his  client 
sayth  as  much  as  he  can.  Evidences  of  writinges  be 
shewed,  witnesses  be  sworne,  and  heard  before  them, 
not  after  the  fashion  of  the  civill  law  but  openly,  that 
not  only  the  xii,  but  the  Judges,  the  parties  and  as 
many  as  be  present  may  heare  what  ech  witnesse  doeth 
say :  The  adverse  partie  or  his  advocates  which  wee 
call  counsellers  and  sergeants  interrogateth  sometime 
the  witnesses,  and  driveth  them  out  of  countenance. 
Although  this  may  seeme  strange  to  our  civillians 
nowe,  yet  who  readeth  Cicero  and  Quintillian  well 
shall  see  that  there  was  no  other  order  and  maner  of 
examining  witnesses  or  deposing  among  the  Romans 
in  their  time.  When  it  is  thought  that  it  is  enough 
pleaded  before  them,  and  the  witnesses  have  saide  what 



they  can,  one  of  the  Judges  with  a  briefe  and  pithie 
recapitulation  reciteth  to  the  xii  in  summe  the  argu- 
mentes  of  the  sergeantes  of  either  side,  that  which  the 
witnesses  have  declared,  and  the  chiefe  pointes  of  the 
evidence  shewed  in  writing,  and  once  againe  putteth 
them  in  minde  of  the  issue,  and  sometime  giveth  it 
them  in  writing,  delivering  to  them  the  evidence  which 
is  shewed  on  either  part,  if  any  be,  (evidence  heere  is 
called  writings  of  contractes  autentical  after  the  man- 
ner of  England,  that  is  to  say,  written,  sealed  and 
delivered)  and  biddeth  them  goe  together.  Then  there 
is  a  baylife  charged  with  them  to  keepe  them  in  a 
chamber  not  farre  off  without  bread,  drinke,  light,  or 
fire  untill  they  be  agreed,  that  is,  till  they  all  agree 
upon  one  verdite  concerning  the  same  issue,  and 
uppon  one  among  them  who  shall  speake  for  them  all 
when  they  be  agreed:  for  it  goeth  not  by  the  most 
part,  but  each  man  must  agree.  They  returne  and  in 
so  fewe  wordes  as  may  be  they  give  their  determina- 
tion :  fewe  I  call  vi  or  vii  or  viii  wordes  at  the  most 
(for  commonly  the  issue  is  brought  so  narrow,  that 
such  number  of  words  may  be  ynough  to  affirme  or  to 
denie  it)  which  doone  they  are  dismissed  to  goe 
whither  they  will.  The  partie  with  whom  they  have 
given  their  sentence,  giveth  the  enquest  their  dinner 
that  day  most  commonly,  and  this  is  all  that  they  have 
for  their  labour,  notwithstanding  that  they  come  some 
xx  some  xxx  or  xl  miles  or  more,  to  the  place  where 
they  give  their  verdite  all,  the  rest  is  of  their  owne 
charge.  And  necessarilie  all  the  whole  xii  must  be  of 
the  shire  and  iiii  of  them  of  the  hundred  where  the 
lande  lyeth  which  is  in  controversie,  or  where  the 
partie  dwelleth  who  is  the  defendant. 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

Of  parties  of  Shires  called  hundreds, 

lathes,  rapes,  wapentakes. 

Chap.  16. 

AN  hundred,  or  lath,  rape,  or  wapentake  be  called  of 
J~ \.  the  divisions  or  partes  of  shires  in  divers  countries 
diversly  named  after  the  manner  and  language  of  each 
countrey.  For  the  shires  be  divided  some  into  x.  xii. 
xiii.  xvi.  xx.  or  xxx.  hundreds,  more  or  lesse,  either  that 
they  were  at  the  first  C.  townes  and  villages  in  eche 
hundred :  and  although  now  they  be  but  xvi.  xx.  xxx. 
xl.  1.  lx.  more  or  lesse,  yet  it  is  still  called  an  hundred, 
or  else  there  were  but  so  many  at  the  first  as  be  nowe, 
or  a  fewe  more  or  lesse,  and  they  did  finde  the  king  to 
his  warres  an  hundred  able  men.  Lath,  and  rape  I 
take  to  be  names  of  service,  for  that  so  many  townes 
in  old  time,  and  in  the  first  povertie  of  the  Realme 
did  meete  together  in  one  day  to  carrie  the  Lordes 
come  into  his  barne,  which  is  called  in  olde  English 
a  Lath.  Or  that  they  mette  at  commaundement  of 
the  Lorde  to  reape  his  corne. 

Wapentake  I  suppose  came  of  the  Danes  or  per- 
adventure  of  the  Saxons.  For  that  so  manie  townes 
came  by  their  orders  then,  to  one  place,  where  was 
taken  a  mouster  of  their  armour  and  weapons,  in  which 
place  from  them  that  could  not  finde  sufficient  pledges 
for  their  good  abearing,  their  weapons  were  taken 
away:  weapen  or  wapen  in  olde  English  doe  signifie 
all  armes  offensive,  as  sworde,  dagger,  spear,  launce, 
bill,  bowes,  arrowes. 

Of  the  place  where  the  monsters  were  taken  or 
where   the  saide  services  were  doone,   the  hundreds, 

f  81 


Lathes,  Rapes,  and  wapentakes  had  and  have  yet  their 
names,  which  be  most  commonly  good  townes,  and  it 
is  to  be  thought  at  the  first  they  were  all  such.  But 
sometime  nowe  in  places  whereof  the  hundred  hath 
the  name,  no  mention  nor  memorie  of  a  towne  re- 
maineth,  such  mutation  time  bringeth  with  it  of  all 
thinges.  A  hundred  hath  one  or  two  high  Constables, 
who  hath  some  authoritie  over  all  the  lower,  and 
particular  Constables.  Those  high  Constables  bee 
made  by  the  Justices  of  the  peace  of  the  shire,  and 
each  hundred  hath  his  baylife,  who  is  made  by  the 
Lorde  if  any  hath  that  libertie,  or  else  by  the  sherife 
of  the  shire  for  the  time  being. 

Of  the  court  Baron. 
Chap.  17. 

/  T  T  may  appeare  strange  that  of  xxxvi  shires,  whereof 
A  each  shire  is  divided  into  divers  hundreds,  each 
hundred  containing  diverse  parishes,  all  pleading  should 
be  but  in  one  place,  that  is  in  Westminster  hall,  and 
that  but  in  certaine  times  of  the  yeare,  making  little 
more  than  one  quarter  of  the  yeare  in  the  whole. 
And  one  would  thinke  that  there  should  be  much  lacke 
of  Justice  and  right,  and  much  wrong  taken  without 
redresse.  But  it  is  not  so:  The  people  being  accus- 
tomed to  live  in  such  an  equalitie  of  Justice,  and  that 
in  such  sort  that  the  rich  hath  no  more  advantage 
therein  than  the  poore,  the  proces,  and  proceedinges  to 
the  judgement   being  so  short,  and  judgementes  also 

v^  being  peremptorie  and  without  appellation :  Yet  to 
helpe  for  small  matters,  where  no  great  summe  is  in 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

question  there  are  other  courtes.  In  everie  shire  from  s 
three  weekes  to  three  weekes  the  sherife  for  small 
thinges  not  passing  xl.  s.  and  in  certaine  hundreds  and 
liberties  the  baylie  likewise  from  three  weekes  to  three 
weekes  holdeth  plea.  And  whosoever  is  possessioner 
and  owner  of  a  mannor,  may  holde  from  three  weekes 
to  three  weekes,  or  at  his  pleasure  of  his  tennantes  and 
amongest  his  tennantes  a  court  called  a  court  Baron. 
And  there  his  tennantes  being  sworne  make  a  Jurie 
which  is  not  called  the  enquest,  but  the  homage. 
These  principallie  doe  enquire  of  the  copie  holders, 
and  other  free  holders  that  be  dead  sith  the  last  court, 
and  bring  in  their  heires,  and  next  successours,  and 
likewise  of  incrochment  or  intrusion  of  anie  of  the 
tennantes  against  the  Lorde,  or  among  themselves. 
They  make  orders  and  lawes  amongest  themselves, 
the  paine  of  them  if  they  be  after  broken,  commeth 
to  the  Lorde.  And  if  anie  small  matter  be  in  con- 
troversie,  it  is  put  to  them,  and  commonly  they  doe 
ende  it.  But  these  courtes  doe  serve  rather  for  men 
that  can  be  content  to  be  ordered  by  their  neighbours, 
and  which  love  their  quiet  and  profit  in  their  hus- 
bandrie,  more  than  to  be  busie  in  the  lawe.  For 
whether  partie  soever  will,  may  procure  a  writte  out 
of  the  higher  court  to  remoove  the  plea  to  West- 
minster. ' 

In  cities  and  other  great  townes  there  be  diverse 
liberties  to  holde  plea  for  a  bigger  summe,  which  doe 
determine  aswell  as  the  common  lawe,  and  after  the 
same  manner,  and  yet  for  them  that  will,  it  may  be 
remooved  to  Westminster  hall. 

King  Henrie  the  eight  ordained  first  a  president, 

Counsellers  and  Judges,  one  for  the  marches  of  Wales, 

F2  83 


at  Ludlowe,  or  else  where :  an  other  for  the  north 
parts  of  Englande  at  Yorke,  where  be  manie  causes 
determined.  These  two  are  as  be  Parliaments  in 
Fraunce.  But  yet  if  there  be  anie  matter  of  great 
consequence,  the  partie  may  moove  it  at  the  first,  or 
remoove  it  afterwardes  to  Westminster  hall,  and  to  the 
ordinarie  Judges  of  the  Realme,  or  to  the  Chaunceller, 
as  the  matter  is. 

These  two  courtes  doe  heare  matters  before  them, 
part  after  the  common  lawe  of  Englande,  and  part 
after  the  fashion  of  the  chauncerie. 

Of  the  Leete  or  lawe  day. 

Chap.  18. 

T  Eete  or  law  day  is  not  incident  to  everie  mannor, 
1 — j  but  to  those  onely  which  by  special  graunt, 
or  long  prescription  have  such  libertie.  This  was  as 
it  may  appeare  first  a  speciall  trust  and  confidence  and 
commission  given  to  a  fewe  put  in  trust  by  the  Prince, 
as  is  nowe  to  the  Justices  of  peace,  to  see  men  sworne 
to  the  Prince,  to  take  pledges  and  suerties  in  that  maner 
of  one  for  an  other  to  answere  for  obedience  and  truth, 
to  enquire  of  privie  conspiracies,  fraies,  murders,  and 
bloudsheddes,  and  to  this  was  added  the  oversight  of 
bread  and  ale,  and  other  measures.  Many  times  they 
that  be  out  of  the  homage  and  court  Baron  of  that 
mannor  and  Lordship,  be  nevertheless  astreined  and 
answerable  to  come  to  the  Leete.  This  Leete  is  ordi- 
narily kept  but  twise  in  the  yeare,  and  that  at  termes 
and  times  prescribed. 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

The  Leete  or  Lawe  day  is  all  one,  and  betokeneth 
worde  for  worde,  legittimum  or  iuridicum  diem.  Lawe 
the  olde  Saxons  called  /ant  or  /agy  and  so  by  corruption 
and  chaunging  of  language  from  Lant  to  Leete,  under- 
standing day.  They  which  keepe  our  full  english 
terme,  call  it  yet  lawe  day. 

Of  the  proceedinges  of  causes  cri- 

minall,  and  first  of  the  Justices 
of  the  Peace. 

Chap.  19. 

BEfore  the  maner  of  proceeding  in  causes  crimi- 
nall  can  be  well  understood,  it  will  be  necessarie 
to  speake  of  three  persons,  the  Justices  of  peace,  the 
Coroners,  and  the  Constables.  The  Justices  of  peace 
be  men  elected  out  of  the  nobilitie,  higher  and  lower, 
that  is  the  Dukes,  Marquises,  Barons,  Knightes,  Es- 
quiers,  and  Gentlemen,  and  of  such  as  be  learned  in 
the  lawes,  such  and  in  such  number  as  the  Prince 
shall  thinke  meete,  and  in  whome  for  wisedome  and 
discretion  he  putteth  his  trust,  inhabitantes  within  the 
countie:  saving  that  some  of  the  high  nobilitie  and 
chiefe  magistrates  for  honors  sake  are  put  in  all,  or 
in  the  most  of  the  commissions  of  all  the  shires  of 
England.  These  have  no  time  of  their  rule  limited 
but  by  commission  from  the  Prince  alterable  at  pleasure. 
At  the  first  they  were  but  iiij,  after  viij,  nowe  they 
come  commonly  to  xxx  or  xl  in  everie  shire,  either  by 
increase  of  riches,  learning,  or  activitie  in  policie  and 
governement.     So  manie  more  beeing  founde,  which 



have  either  will,  or  power,  or  both,  are  not  too  manie 
to  handle  the  affaires  of  the  common  wealth  in  this 
behalfe.  Of  these  in  the  same  commission  be  certaine 
named,  which  be  called  of  the  Quorum,  in  whome  is 
especiall  trust  reposed,  that  where  the  commission  is 
given  to  xl  or  xxx,  and  so  at  the  last  it  commeth  to 
iiij  or  three,  it  is  necessarie  for  the  performance  of 
many  affaires  to  have  likewise  diverse  of  the  Quorum. 
The  wordes  of  the  commission  be  such,  Quorum  vos 
A  B.  CD.  E  F.  vnum  esse  volumus. 
f  The  Justices  of  the  peace  be  those  in  whom  at 
this  time  for  the  repressing  of  robbers,  theeves,  and 
vagabunds,  of  privie  complots  and  conspiracies,  of  riotes, 
and  violences,  and  all  other  misdemeanors  in  the  com- 
mon wealth,  the  Prince  putteth  his  special  trust.  Each 
of  them  hath  authoritie  upon  complaint  to  him  made 
of  any  theft,  robberie,  manslaughter,  murder,  violence, 
complotes,  riottes,  unlawefull  games,  or  any  such  dis- 
turbance of  the  peace,  and  quiet  of  the  Realme,  to 
commit  the  persons  whom  he  supposeth  offendors,  to 
the  prison,  and  to  charge  the  Constable  or  sherife  to 
bring  them  thither,  the  gaoler  to  receave  them  and 
keepe  them  till  he  and  his  fellowes  doe  meete.  A  fewe 
lines  signed  with  his  hande  is  ynough  for  that  purpose : 
these  doe  meete  foure  times  in  the  yeere,  that  is,  in 
each  quarter  once,  to  enquire  of  all  the  misdemeanors 
aforesaide :  at  which  daies  the  sherife,  or  his  undersherife 
with  his  baylifes  be  there  to  attende  uppon  him,  who 
must  prepare  against  that  time  fower  enquestes  of  xxiiij 
yeomen  a  peece  of  diverse  hundredes  in  the  shire,  and 
besides  one  which  is  called  the  great  enquest  out  of 
the  bodie  of  the  shire  mingled  with  all.  These  five 
enquests  are  sworne  before  them  to  enquire  of  all 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

heretiques,  traitors,  theftes,  murders,  manslaughters, 
rapes,  false  moniers,  extortioners,  riottes,  routes,  forcible 
entries,  unlawefull  games,  and  all  such  thinges  as  be 
contrarie  to  the  peace  and  good  order  of  the  Realme, 
and  to  bring  in  their  verdict.  If  they  among  themselves 
upon  their  owne  knowledge  doe  finde  any  culpable, 
they  cause  one  of  the  clerkes  to  make  the  bill.  And 
if  any  be  there  to  complaine  uppon  any  man  for  these 
faults,  he  putteth  in  his  bil,  which  bil  is  presented 
first  to  the  Justices  sitting  upon  the  bench,  to  see  if  it 
be  conceived  in  forme  of  lawe,  which  doone  the  com- 
plainant doth  deliver  it  to  one  of  these  enquests,  and 
after  the  complainant  is  sworne,  he  declareth  to  them 
what  he  can,  for  the  profe  of  it.  And  if  they  finde 
it  true  they  do  nothing  but  write  on  the  backeside  of 
it,  billa  vera,  as  ye  would  say,  scriptum  verum  :  or  accu- 
satio  iusta,  or  reus  est  qui  accusatur :  Then  he  who  is 
there  named  is  called  indicted. 

If  they  do  not  finde  it  true,  they  write  on  the 
backside  ignoramus,  and  so  deliver  it  to  the  Justices  of 
whome  it  is  rent  into  peeces  immediatly :  he  that  is 
indicted  is  accounted  a  lawefull  prisoner,  and  after 
that  time  looked  more  streitly  unto.  For  this  indite- 
ment  is  no  conviction :  and  if  he  be  indicted,  and  be 
not  alreadie  in  prison,  the  sherife  if  he  can  finde  him, 
bringeth  him  into  prison :  if  he  cannot  finde  him, 
proces  is  made  out  against  him,  to  render  himselfe 
prisoner,  or  else  hee  shalbe  outlawed.  So  he  is  called 
three  times  in  diverse  countie  daies  to  render  himselfe 
to  the  lawe.  The  fourth  is  called  the  exigent,  by 
which  he  is  outlawed  not  rendring  himselfe,  as  ye 
would  say :  exaftus  or  actus  in  exilium.  The  outlawe 
looseth  all  his  goods  to  the  King  for  his  disobedience. 



But  if  after  he  wil  render  himselfe  to  answere  to  the 
lawe,  and  shewe  some  reasonable  cause  of  his  absence, 
manie  times  of  grace  his  outlawerie  is  pardoned.  These 
meetinges  of  the  Justices  of  peace  foure  times  in  the 
yeare,  be  called  quarter  sessions  or  sessions  of  enquirie, 
because  that  nothing  is  there  determined  touching  the 
malefactors,  but  onely  the  custodie  of  them :  and  this 
kinde  of  proceeding  which  is  by  inquisition  of  the  xij 
men  within  themselves,  and  their  owne  consciences, 
or  by  denunciation  of  him  that  putteth  in  his  bill  to 
the  xij,  is  called  at  the  kings  suite,  and  the  king  is 
reckoned  the  one  partie,  and  the  prisoner  the  other. 
The  Justices  of  the  peace  doe  meete  also  at  other 
times  by  commandement  of  the  Prince  upon  suspition 
of  warre,  to  take  order  for  the  safetie  of  the  shire, 
sometimes  to  take  musters  of  harnes  and  able  men, 
and  sometime  to  take  orders  for  the  excessive  wages 
of  servaunts  and  labourers,  for  excesse  of  apparell,  for 
unlawefull  games,  for  conventicles  and  evill  orders  in 
alehouses,  and  tavernes,  for  punishment  of  idle  and 
vagabund  persons,  and  generally  as  I  have  saide,  for 
the  good  governement  of  the  shire,  the  Prince  putteth 
his  confidence  in  them.  And  commonly  every  yeare, 
or  each  seconde  yeare  in  the  beginning  of  summer 
or  afterwardes,  (for  in  the  warme  time  the  people  for 
the  most  part  be  more  unrulie)  even  in  the  calme  time 
of  peace,  the  Prince  with  his  counsell  chooseth  out 
certaine  articles  out  of  penall  lawes  alreadie  made  for 
to  represse  the  pride  and  evill  rule  of  the  popular,  and 
sendeth  them  downe  to  the  Justices,  willing  them  to 
looke  upon  those  pointes,  and  after  they  have  mette 
together  and  consulted  among  themselves,  howe  to 
order    that    matter    most    wisely   and    circumspectly, 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   2. 

whereby  the  people  might  be  kept  in  good  order  and 
obedience  after  the  lawe,  they  divide  themselves  by 
three  or  foure  :  and  so  each  in  his  quarter  taketh  order 
for  the  execution  of  the  saide  articles.  And  then 
within  certaine  space  they  meete  againe  and  certifie 
the  Prince  or  his  privie  counsell  how  they  do  finde  the 
shire  in  rule  and  order  touching  those  pointes  and  all 
other  disorders.  There  was  never  in  any  common 
wealth  divised  a  more  wise,  a  more  dulce  and  gentle, 
nor  a  more  certaine  way  to  rule  the  people,  whereby 
they  are  kept  alwaies  as  it  were  in  a  bridle  of  good 
order,  and  sooner  looked  unto  that  they  should  not 
offend,  than  punished  when  they  have  offended.  For 
seeing  the  chiefe  amongst  them,  their  rulers  to  have 
this  speciall  charge  and  doe  call  upon  it,  and  if  occasion 
so  doe  present,  one  or  two  presently  either  punished  or 
sent  to  prison  for  disobedience  to  those  olde  orders  and 
lawes,  they  take  a  feare  within  themselves,  they  amende 
and  doe  promise  more  amendment.  So  that  it  is  as 
a  newe  forbushing  of  the  good  lawes  of  the  realme, 
and  a  continuall  repressing  of  disorders,  which  doe 
naturally  rest  among  men.  But  as  the  invention  of 
this,  and  the  use  and  execution  thereof  is  the  most 
benefitte  that  can  be  devised  for  the  common  wealth  of 
Englande  :  So  when  it  shalbe  misused,  dissembled 
with,  or  be  contemned,  and  be  doone  pro  forma  tantum, 
and  as  they  terme  it  in  Fraunce  par  mainere  d'acquit 
onely,  it  will  be  the  present  ruine  (though  not  at  the 
first  apperceiued)  of  the  common  wealth.  Of  which 
the  fault  may  be  as  well  in  the  commaunders  for  not 
making  good  choice  what  and  howe  they  commaunde, 
as  in  the  commaunded,  for  not  executing  that  which  is 



Of  hue  and  crie  and  recognisaunce 

taking  uppon  them  that  may 
give  evidence. 

Chap.  20. 

BY  the  olde  lawe  of  Englande  if  any  theft,  or 
robberie  be  doone,  if  he  that  is  robbed,  or  he  that 
seeth  or  perceiveth  that  any  man  is  robbed  doe  levie 
hue  and  crie,  that  is  to  say,  doe  call  and  crie  for  aide, 
and  say  that  a  theft  or  robberie  is  doone  contrarie  to 
the  Princes  peace  and  assurance  :  The  Constable  of 
the  village  to  whom  he  doth  come,  and  so  make  that 
crie,  ought  to  raise  the  parish  to  aide  him  and  seeke  the 
theefe,  and  if  the  theefe  be  not  founde  in  that  parish,  to 
go  to  the  next  and  raise  that  Constable,  and  so  still  by 
the  Constables  and  them  of  the  parish  one  after  an 
other.  This  hue  and  crie  from  parish  to  parish  is 
caried,  till  the  theefe  or  robber  be  founde.  That 
parish  which  doeth  not  his  dutie,  but  letteth  by  their 
negligence  the  theefe  to  depart,  doth  not  onely  paie  a 
fine  to  the  king,  but  must  repaie  to  the  partie  robbed 
his  dammages.  So  that  everie  English  man  is  a  sergiant 
to  take  the  theefe,  and  who  sheweth  himselfe  negligent 
therein,  doth  not  only  incur  evill  opinion  therefore,  but 
hardly  shall  escape  punishment :  what  is  doone  with 
the  theefe  or  robber  when  he  is  taken,  I  shall  shewe 
you  hereafter.  The  same  manner  is  followed  if  anie 
man  bee  slaine,  for  streight  the  murtherer  is  pursued  of 
everie  man  till  he  be  taken.  So  soone  as  any  is  brought 
to  the  Justices  of  peace  by  this  hue  or  crie,  by  the 
Constable  or  anie  other  who  doth  pursue  the  male- 
factor, he  doeth  examine  the  malefactor,  and  writeth 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

the  examination  and  his  confession  :  then  he  doth 
binde  the  partie  that  is  robbed  or  him  that  sueth,  and 
the  Constable,  and  so  manie  as  can  give  evidence 
against  the  malefactor  to  be  at  the  next  sessions  of  gaole 
deliverie  to  give  their  evidence  for  the  Queene.  He 
bindeth  them  in  recognisance  of  x.l'.  xx.l\  xxx.l'.  xl.l'. 
or  C.  P.  according  to  his  discretion,  and  the  qualitie  of 
the  crime  :  which  certified  under  his  hande,  is  levied 
upon  the  recognizance  if  they  faile  of  being  there. 

Of  the  Coroner. 
Chap.  21. 

BUt  if  anie  man,  woman,  or  child,  be  violently 
slaine,  the  murtherer  not  knowen,  no  man  ought 
or  dare  burie  the  bodie  before  the  Coroner  hath  seene  it. 
The  Coroner  is  one  chosen  by  the  Prince  of  the 
meaner  sort  of  gentlemen,  and  for  the  most  part  a  man 
seene  in  the  lawes  of  the  Realme  to  execute  that  office. 
And  if  the  person  slaine,  (slaine  I  cal  here,  whosoever 
he  be,  man,  woman,  or  childe  that  violently  commeth 
to  his  death,  whether  it  be  by  knife,  poyson,  cord, 
drowning,  burning,  suffocation,  or  otherwise,  be  it  by 
his  owne  fault  or  default,  or  by  any  other)  if  (I  say) 
the  person  slaine  be  buried  before  the  Coroner  doe 
come  (which  for  the  most  part  men  dare  not  doe)  he 
doeth  cause  the  bodie  to  be  taken  up  againe,  and  to  be 
searched,  and  upon  the  sight  of  the  bodie  so  violently 
come  to  his  death,  he  doth  empanell  an  enquest  of  xij 
men  or  mo,  of  those  which  come  next  by,  be  they 
strangers  or  inhabitantes,  which  upon  their  othes,  and 
by  the  sight  or  viewe  of  the  bodie,  and  by  such  informa- 



tions  as  they  can  take,  must  search  howe  the  person 
slaine  came  to  his  death,  and  by  whome  as  the  doer  or 
causer  thereof.  These  are  not  inclosed  into  a  streit 
place,  (as  I  tolde  before  of  other  enquestes)  but  are 
suffered  to  goe  at  large,  and  take  a  day,  sometime  after 
xx  or  xxx  daies,  more  or  lesse,  as  the  fact  is  more 
evident,  or  more  kept  close,  to  give  their  evidence,  at 
which  day  they  must  appeare  there  againe  before  the 
saide  Coroner  to  give  their  verdict.  So  sometime  the 
person  slaine  himselfe,  sometime  the  brother,  the  hus- 
bande,  the  wife,  the  sister,  some  of  acquaintance  or 
stranger,  such  as  God  wil  have  reveiled,  be  taken.  For 
whosoever  they  doe  finde  as  guiltie  of  the  murder,  he  is 
streight  committed  to  prison,  and  this  is  against  him  in 
the  nature  of  an  inditement,  which  is  not  a  full  con- 
demnation, as  ye  shall  see  heereafter. 

The  empanelling  of  this  enquest,  and  the  viewe  of 
the  bodie,  and  the  giving  of  the  verdict,  is  commonly  in 
the  streete  in  an  open  place,  and  in  Corona  populi :  but 
I  take  rather  that  this  name  commeth  because  that  the 
death  of  everie  subject  by  violence  is  accounted  to  touch 
the  crowne  of  the  Prince,  and  to  be  a  detriment  unto 
it,  the  Prince  accounting  that  his  strength,  power,  and 
crowne  doth  stande  and  consist  in  the  force  of  his 
people,  and  the  maintenaunce  of  them  in  securitie  and 

Of  the  Constables. 
Chap.  22. 

THese  men  are  called  in  the  elder  bookes  of  our 
lawes  of  the  Realme  custodes  pads,  and  were  at 
the  first  in  greater  reputation  than  they  be  nowe.  It 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

may  appeare  that  there  was  a  credit  given  unto  them 
not  altogether  unlike  to  that  which  is  now  given  to 
the  Justices  of  peace.  To  this  day  if  any  affraie 
chaunce  to  be  made,  the  Constables  ought  and  will 
charge  them  that  be  at  debate  to  keepe  the  Princes 
peace  :  and  whosoever  refuseth  to  obey  the  Constable 
therein,  all  the  people  will  set  streight  upon  him,  and 
by  force  make  him  to  render  himself  to  be  ordered. 
Likewise  if  any  be  suspected  of  theft,  or  receiving,  or 
of  murther,  or  of  manslaughter,  the  Constable  may 
take  such  persons,  yea  enter  into  any  mans  house  with 
sufficient  power  to  search  for  such  men  till  he  finde 
them  :  and  if  hee  see  cause  keepe  the  suspected  persons 
in  the  stockes,  or  custodie,  til  he  bring  them  before 
a  Justice  of  the  peace  to  be  examined.  But  for  so 
much  as  everie  litle  village  hath  commonly  two  Con- 
stables, and  many  times  artificers,  labourers  and  men  of 
small  abilitie  be  chosen  unto  that  office,  who  have  no 
great  experience,  nor  knowledge,  nor  authoritie,  the 
Constables  at  this  present  (although  this  they  may  do 
uppon  their  owne  authoritie)  yet  they  seeme  rather  to 
be  as  it  were  the  executors  of  the  commaundement  of 
the  Justices  of  peace.  For  the  Justice  of  peace  as  soon ' 
as  he  understandeth  by  complaint  that  any  man  hath 
stolen,  robbed,  slaine,  or  any  servant  or  labourer  with- 
out licence  hath  departed  out  of  his  maisters  service,  or 
any  that  liveth  idle  and  suspectly,  knowing  once  in 
what  parish  he  is,  he  writeth  to  the  Constable  of  the 
parish,  commanding  him  in  the  Princes  name  to  bring 
that  man  before  him  :  the  Constable  dareth  not  dis- 
obey. The  man  is  brought  and  examined  by  the 
Justice,  and  if  the  Justice  doe  finde  cause,  hee  com- 
mitteth  him  to  the  same    Constable   to   convey  him 



further  to  the  Princes  gaole,  where  the  partie  must 
lie  till  the  Justices  of  peace  doe  meete  either  at  their 
quarter  sessions,  or  at  their  gaole  deliverie,  and  that  the 
lawe  hath  either  condemned  or  acquited  him.  These 
Constables  are  called  in  some  places  headborowes,  in 
some  places  tithingmen,  and  be  like  to  them,  who  are 
called  Consuls  in  manie  townes  and  villages  in  Fraunce. 
The  Constables  are  commonlie  made  and  sworne  at 
the  Leetes  of  the  Lordes,  chosen  thereto  by  the 
homage,  and  they  keepe  that  office  sometime  ij.  iij  or 
iiij  yeare,  more  or  lesse,  as  the  parish  doth  agree. 
What  headborow  doth  betoken  it  is  easily  knowen,  our 
language  doth  declare  him  as  the  head  or  chiefe  of  the 
borowe  or  village  :  likewise  tithing  man  is  the  cheife  of 
the  tithing.  Constable  seemeth  to  me  to  come  of  our 
olde  English  word  kinnyng,  which  is  Kinnyngstab/e,  as 
ye  would  say  a  man  established  by  the  king,  for  such 
thinges  as  appertaineth  to  pleas  of  the  crowne  and 
conservation  of  the  Kings  peace,  and  as  I  saide  at  the 
first  were  in  some  more  reputation,  approching  to 
that  authoritie  which  the  Justices  of  peace  nowe  doth 

Of  the  sessions  of  gaole  deliverie,  and 

the  definitive  proceedinges  in 
causes  criminall. 

Chap.  23. 

HOwe  theeves  and  murtherers  and  other  male- 
factors against  the  crowne  and  the  peace  are 
taken  and  brought  into  holde  to  answere  to  iustice, 
partly  by  hue  and  crie,  partly  by  information,  and 
partly  by  the  diligence  of  the  Justices  of  peace  and  the 


ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

Constables,  and  howe  that  at  the  quarter  sessions  they 
be  indicted,  or  else  by  the  Coroners  yee  have  hearde 
before.  Enditement  (as  yee  may  perceive  by  that\< 
which  is  also  gone  before)  is  but  a  former  judgement 
of  xij  men  which  be  called  enquirers,  and  no  definitive 
sentence,  but  that  which  in  latin  is  called  prtsjudicium, 
it  doeth  but  shewe  what  opinion  the  countrey  hath 
of  the  malefactor :  and  therefore  commonly  men  be 
indicted  absent,  not  called  to  it,  nor  knowing  of  it. 
For  though  a  man  be  endicted,  yet  if  when  he  come  to 
the  arainemenf,  there  be  no  man  to  pursue  further,  nor 
no  evidence  of  witnesse  or  other  triall  and  indices 
against  him,  he  is  without  difficultie  acquited.  No  man 
that  is  once  indicted  can  be  delivered  without  araine- 
ment.  For  as  xij  have  given  a  prejudice  against  him, 
so  xij  againe  must  acquite  or  condemne  him.  But  if 
the  prisoner  be  not  indicted,  but  sent  to  prison  upon 
some  suspition  or  suspitious  behaviour,  and  none  doe 
pursue  him  to  the  enditement,  first  being  proclaimed 
thus,  A.  B.  prisoner  standeth  heere  at  the  barre,  if  any 
man  can  say  any  thing  against  him,  let  him  now 
speake,  for  the  prisoner  standeth  at  his  deliveraunce  :  if 
no  man  doe  then  come,  hee  is  delivered  without  any 
further  proces  or  trouble,  agreeing  first  with  the  gaoler 
for  his  fees.  And  these  be  called  acquited  by  pro- 
clamation. Twise  everie  yeare  the  one  is  commonly 
in  lent  what  time  there  is  vacation  from  pleading  in 
Westminster  hall,  the  other  is  in  the  vacation  in 
summer.  The  Prince  doth  sende  downe  into  everie 
shire  of  Englande  certaine  of  his  Judges  of  Westminster 
hall,  and  some  Seargeantes  at  the  lawe  with  commission 
to  heare  and  determine  joyntly  with  the  Justices  of  the 
peace  all  matters  criminall  and  all  prisoners  which  be 



in  the  gaoles.  These  Judges  doe  goe  from  shire  to 
shire  till  they  have  doone  their  circuit  of  so  manie 
shires  as  be  appointed  to  them  for  that  yeare  :  at  the 
ende  of  the  terme  going  before  their  circuit  it  is  written 
and  set  up  in  Westminster  hall  on  what  day  and  in 
what  place  they  will  be.  That  day  there  meeteth  all 
the  Justices  of  the  peace  of  that  shire,  the  sherife  of 
that  shire,  who  for  that  time  beareth  their  charges,  and 
asketh  after  allowance  for  it  in  the  Exchequer.  The 
sherife  hath  readie  for  criminall  causes  (as  I  writ  before 
at  the  sessions  of  inquire)  iiij.  v.  or  vj.  enquestes  readie 
warned  to  appeare  that  day  to  serve  the  Prince,  and  so 
manie  more  as  he  is  commaunded  to  have  readie  to  go 
in  civill  matters  betwixt  private  men,  which  they  call 
Nisi  prius,  because  that  worde  is  in  the  writ. 

In  the  towne  house,  or  in  some  open  or  common 
place,  there  is  a  tribunall  or  place  of  judgement  made 
aloft  upon  the  highest  bench,  there  sitteth  the  two 
Judges  which  be  sent  downe  in  Commission  in  the 
midst.  Next  them  on  eche  side,  sitteth  the  Justices 
of  peace,  according  to  their  estate  and  degree.  On  a 
lower  bench  before  them,  the  rest  of  the  Justices  of 
the  peace,  and  some  other  gentlemen  or  their  clarkes. 
Before  these  Judges  and  Justices,  there  is  a  table  set 
beneath,  at  which  sitteth  the  Custos  rotulorum,  or  keeper 
of  writtes,  Thexchetor,  the  undershirife,  and  such 
clarkes  as  doe  write.  At  the  end  of  that  table,  there 
is  a  barre  made  with  a  space  for  thenquestes  and  xij 
men  to  come  in  when  they  are  called,  behind  that 
space  another  barre,  and  there  stand  the  prisoners  which 
be  brought  thither  by  the  gaoler  all  chained  one  to 
another.  Then  the  cryer  crieth,  and  commaundeth 
silence.  One  of  the  Judges  briefely  telleth  the  cause  of 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

their  comming,  and  giveth  a  good  lesson  to  the  people. 
Then  the  prisoners  are  called  for  by  name,  and  bidden 
to  aunswere  to  their  names.  And  when  the  Custos 
rotulorum  hath  brought  forth  their  enditements,  the 
Judges  do  name  one  or  two  or  three  of  the  prisoners 
that  are  endicted,  whom  they  will  have  arraigned. 
There  the  clarke  speaketh  first  to  one  of  the  prisoners : 
A.  B.  come  to  the  barre,  hold  up  thy  hand.  The 
clarke  goeth  on  :  A.  B.  thou  by  the  name  of  A.  B.  of 
such  a  towne,  in  such  a  countie,  art  endicted,  that  such 
a  day,  in  such  a  place,  thou  hast  stolen  with  force  and 
armes  an  horse,  which  was  such  ones,  of  such  a  colour, 
to  such  a  valor,  and  carried  him  away  feloniouslie,  and 
contrarie  to  the  peace  of  our  soveraigne  Ladie  the 
Queene.  What  sayest  thou  to  it,  art  thou  guiltie  or 
not  guiltie  ?  If  he  will  not  aunswere,  or  not  aunswere 
directly  guiltie  or  not  guiltie,  after  he  hath  beene  once 
or  twise  so  interrogated,  he  is  judged  mute,  that  is 
dumme  by  contumacie,  and  his  condemnation  is  to  be 
pressed  to  death,  which  is  one  of  the  cruellest  deathes 
that  may  be  :  he  is  layd  upon  a  table,  and  an  other 
uppon  him,  and  so  much  weight  of  stones  or  lead  laide 
uppon  that  table,  while  as  his  bodie  be  crushed,  and  his 
life  by  that  violence  taken  from  him.  This  death  some 
strong  and  stout  hearted  man  doth  choose,  for  being 
not  condemned  of  felonie,  his  bloud  is  not  corrupted, 
his  lands  nor  goods  confiscate  to  the  Prince,  which  in 
all  cases  of  felonie  are  commonly  lost  from  him  and 
his  heires,  if  he  be  forejudged,  that  is  condemned  for  a 
felon  by  the  lawe.  If  he  confesse  the  enditement  to 
be  true,  then  when  he  is  arraigned,  no  xii.  men  goeth 
upon  him,  there  resteth  but  the  Judges  sentence,  of  the 
paine  of  death. 

g  97 


If  he  pleade  not  guiltie,  as  commonly  all  theeves, 
robbers,  and  murtherers  doe,  though  they  have  con- 
fessed the  fact  before  the  Justice  of  the  peace  that 
examined  them,  though  they  be  taken  with  the  maner, 
which  in  Latine  they  call  in  flagranti  crimine,  howe- 
soever  it  be,  if  he  pleade  there  not  guiltie,  the  Clarke 
asketh  him  howe  he  will  be  tryed,  and  telleth  him  he 
must  saie,  by  God  and  the  Countrie,  for  these  be  the 
words  formall  of  this  triall  after  Inditement,  and  where 
the  Prince  is  partie  :  if  the  prisoner  doe  say  so,  I  will 
be  tryed  by  God  and  the  Countrie,  then  the  Clarke 
replyeth,  Thou  hast  beene  endicted  of  such  a  crime, 
&c.  Thou  hast  pleaded  not  guiltie  :  being  asked  how 
thou  wilt  be  tryed,  thou  hast  aunswered  by  God  and 
by  the  Countrie.  Loe  these  honest  men  that  be  come 
here,  be  in  the  place  and  stead  of  the  Countrie  :  and  if 
thou  hast  any  thing  to  say  to  any  of  them,  looke  upon 
them  well  and  nowe  speake,  for  thou  standest  upon  thy 
life  and  death.  Then  calleth  he  in  the  first  Juror. 
B.  C.  come  to  the  booke,  and  so  giveth  him  an  othe  to 
goe  uprightlie  betwixt  the  Prince  and  the  prisoner,  &c. 
If  the  prisoner  objecteth  nothing  against  him,  he  calleth 
an  other,  and  so  an  other,  till  there  be  xii.  or  above  : 
and  for  the  most  part  the  prisoner  can  say  nothing 
against  them,  for  they  are  chosen  but  for  that  day,  and 
are  unknowen  to  him,  nor  they  know  not  him,  as  I 
said  being  substantial  yeomen,  that  dwell  about  the 
place,  or  at  the  least  in  the  hundred,  or  neere  where 
the  felonie  is  supposed  to  be  committed,  men  acquainted 
with  daily  labour  and  travaile,  and  not  with  such  idle 
persons,  as  be  readie  to  doe  such  mischiefes. 

When  the  enquest  is  full,  and  the  prisoner  hath 
objected  nothing  against  them,  as  in  deede  seldome  he 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

doeth,  for  the  cause  above  rehearsed  :  The  clarke  saith 
to  the  cryer,  countes,  (in  French  as  ye  would  say  recken) 
and  so  nameth  all  those  that  be  on  the  quest.  The 
crier  at  everie  name  cryeth  aloude,  one,  then  ii.  iii.  iiii. 
and  so  till  the  number  be  full  of  xii.  or  more,  and  then 
saith  good  men  and  true  :  and  then  sayth  aloude :  If 
any  can  give  evidence,  or  can  saie  any  thing  against  the 
prisoner,  let  him  come  nowe,  for  he  standeth  upon  his 
deliverance.  If  no  man  come  in,  then  the  Judge  asketh 
who  sent  him  to  prison,  who  is  commonly  one  of  the 
Justices  of  peace.  He  if  he  be  there  delivereth  up  the 
examination  which  he  tooke  of  him,  and  underneath 
the  names  of  those  whom  he  hath  bound  to  give  evi- 
dence, although  the  malefactor  hath  confessed  the  crime 
to  the  Justice  of  the  peace,  and  that  appeare  by  his 
hande  and  confirmation,  the  xij.  men  will  acquite  the 
prisoner,  but  they  which  should  give  evidence  pay  their 
recognizaunce.  Howbeit  this  doth  seldome  chaunce, 
except  it  be  in  small  matters,  and  where  the  Justices  of 
peace,  who  sent  the  prisoner  to  the  gaole,  is  away.  If 
they  which  be  bound  to  give  evidence  come  in,  first  is 
read  the  examination,  which  the  Justice  of  peace  doeth 
give  in  :  then  is  heard  (if  he  be  there)  the  man  robbed 
what  he  can  say,  being  first  sworne  to  say  trueth,  and 
after  the  Constable,  and  as  many  as  were  at  the  appre- 
hension of  the  malefactor  :  and  so  many  as  can  say 
any  thing  being  sworn  one  after  an  other  to  say  truth. 
These  be  set  in  such  a  place  as  they  may  see  the  Judges 
and  the  Justices,  the  enquest  and  the  prisoner,  and 
heare  them,  and  be  heard  of  them  all.  The  Judge 
first  after  they  be  sworne,  asketh  first  the  partie  robbed, 
if  he  knowe  the  prisoner,  and  biddeth  him  looke  upon 
him  :  he  saith  yea,  the  prisoner  sometime  saith  nay. 
G  2  99 


The  partie  pursuivaunt  giveth  good  ensignes  verbi 
gratia,  I  knowe  thee  well  ynough,  thou  robbedst  me  in 
such  a  place,  thou  beatest  mee,  thou  tookest  my  horse 
from  mee,  and  my  purse,  thou  hadst  then  such  a  coate 
and  such  a  man  in  thy  companie  :  the  theefe  will  say 
no,  and  so  they  stand  a  while  in  altercation,  then  he 
telleth  al  that  he  can  say  :  after  him  likewise  all  those 
who  were  at  the  apprehension  of  the  prisoner,  or  who 
can  give  any  indices  or  tokens  which  we  call  in  our 
language  evidence  against  the  malefactor.  When  the 
Judge  hath  heard  them  say  inough,  he  asketh  if  they 
can  say  any  more  :  if  they  say  no,  then  he  turneth  his 
speeche  to  the  enquest.  Good  men  (saith  he)  ye  of  the 
enquest,  ye  have  heard  what  these  men  say  against  the 
prisoner,  you  have  also  heard  what  the  prisoner  can  say 
for  himselfe,  have  an  eye  to  your  othe,  and  to  your 
duetie,  and  doe  that  which  God  shall  put  in  your  mindes 
to  the  discharge  of  your  consciences,  and  marke  well 
what  is  saide.  Thus  sometime  with  one  enquest  is 
passed  to  the  number  of  ij.  or  iij.  prisoners  :  For  if  they 
should  be  charged  with  more,  the  inquest  will  say,  my 
Lord,  we  pray  you  charge  us  with  no  more,  it  is 
ynough  for  our  memorie.  Many  times  they  are  charged 
but  with  one  or  two.  At  their  departing,  they  have  in 
writing  nothing  given  them,  but  the  enditement,  the 
clarke  repeating  to  them  the  effect  of  it,  and  shewing 
more,  that  if  they  flnde  him  guiltie,  they  shall  enquire 
what  goods,  lands,  and  tenements,  the  saide  person 
had  at  the  time  of  the  felonie  committed :  and  if  they 
finde  any,  they  shal  bring  it  in  :  if  no,  they  shal  say  so. 
If  they  finde  him,  not  guiltie,  they  shall  enquire  whether 
he  fled  for  the  felonie  or  no. 

And  there  is  a  bailife  to  waite  upon  them,  and  to 


ANGLORUM     LIB.   2. 

see  that  no  man  doe  speake  with  them,  and  that  they 
have  neither  bread,  drinke,  meate,  ne  fire  brought  to 
them,  but  there  to  remaine  in  a  chamber  together  till 
they  agree.     If  they  be  in  doubt  of  any  thing  that  is 
saide,  or  would  heare  againe  some  of  them  that  give 
evidence  to  interrogate  them  more  at  full,  or  if  any 
that  can  give  evidence  come  late :  it  is  permitted  that 
any  that  is  sworne  to  say  the  trueth,  may  be  interro- 
gated of  them  to  enforme  their  consciences.     This  is 
to  be  understood  although  it  will  seeme  straunge  to  all 
nations  that  doe  use  the  civill  Lawe  of  the  Romane 
Emperours,  that  for  life  and  death  there  is  nothing  put 
in  writing  but  the  enditement  onely.     All  the  rest  is 
doone    openlie    in    the    presence    of    the    Judges,  the 
Justices,  the  enquest,  the  prisoner,  and  so  manie  as  will 
or  can  come  so  neare  as  to  heare  it,  and  all  depositions 
and  witnesses  given  aloude,  that  all  men  may  heare 
from  the  mouth  of  the  depositors  and  witnesses  what  is 
saide.    As  of  this,  so  is  it  of  all  other  prisoners  after  the 
same  sort.     By  that    time  that  the  enquests  for  the 
prisoners  be  dispatched,  it  is  commonlie  dinner  time,  the 
Judges  and  Justices  goe  to  dinner,  and  after  dinner 
returne  to  the  same  place  :  if  the  enquest  be  not  readie 
for  the  prisoners,  they  goe  to  some  other  enquests  of 
nisi  prius,  which  be  civill  matters  and  private  to  drive 
out  the  time.     The  enquestes  have  no  sooner  agreed 
upon  their  charge  one  way  or  other,  but  they  tell  the 
Bailife,  and   pray  to   be    heard,  and  considering  that 
they  be  themselves  all  this  while  as  prisoners  as  I  saide 
before,  it  is  no  marvell,  though  they  make  expedition. 
The    prisoners   be  sent   for  againe   to  the  barre,  the 
enquest  which  hath  agreed,  is  called  for  eche  one  of  the 
Jurie  by  his  name,  to  which  he  answereth.     Then  the 



clarke  asketh  if  they  be  agreed,  and  who  shall  speake 
for  them.  One  or  moe  saith  yea.  He  that  speaketh 
for  them  all  is  called  the  foreman,  and  commonlie  it  is 
he  that  is  first  sworne  :  then  the  prisoner  is  bidden  to 
holde  up  his  hande.  The  clarke  saith  unto  him,  Thou 
art  endicted  by  the  name  of  A.  of  such  a  place,  &c. 
being  therefore  arraigned  thou  pleadest  thereto  not 
guiltie,  being  asked  howe  thou  would  be  tryed,  thou 
saydst  by  God  and  thy  countrie.  These  honest  men 
were  given  to  thee  by  God  and  thy  Prince  for  thy 
Countrey  :  Hearken  what  they  say.  Then  he  asketh 
of  the  enquest,  what  say  you  ?  Is  he  guiltie  or  not 
guiltie  ?  The  foreman  maketh  aunswere  in  one  worde, 
guiltie,  or  in  two,  not  guiltie  :  the  one  is  deadlie,  the 
other  acquiteth  the  prisoner.  So  that  neither  Judge 
nor  Justice  hath  to  doe,  or  can  reverse,  alter  or  chaunge 
that  matter,  if  they  say  guiltie.  The  clarke  asketh 
what  landes,  tenements,  or  goods,  the  prisoner  had  at 
the  time  of  the  felonie  committed,  or  at  any  time  after. 
Commonlie  it  is  aunswered  that  they  knowe  not,  nor 
it  shall  not  greatly  neede,  for  the  Sherife  is  diligent 
enough  to  enquire  of  that,  for  the  Princes  and  his  owne 
advantage,  and  so  is  the  excheator  also. 

Of  him  whom  the  xij.  men  pronounce  guiltie,  the 
Judge  asketh  what  he  can  say  for  himself :  if  he  can 
reade,he  demaundeth  his  Clergie.  For  in  many  felonies, 
as  in  theft  of  oxen,  sheepe,  money,  or  other  such 
things,  which  be  no  open  robberies,  by  the  high  way 
side,  nor  assaulting  one  by  night  in  his  house,  putting 
him  that  is  there  in  feare,  such  is  the  favour  of  our 
Lawe,  that  for  the  first  fault  the  felon  shalbe  admitted 
to  his  Clergie,  for  which  purpose  the  Bishop  must  send 
one  with  authoritie  under  his  seale  to  be  Judge  in  that 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

matter  at  everie  gaole  deliverie.  If  the  condemned 
man  demandeth  to  be  admitted  to  his  booke,  the  Judge 
commonly  giveth  him  a  Psalter,  and  turneth  to  what 
place  he  will.  The  prisoner  readeth  as  well  as  he 
can  (God  knoweth  sometime  very  slenderly  :)  then  he 
asketh  of  the  Bishops  commissarie,  legit  ut  clericus  ? 
The  commissarie  must  say  legit  or  non  legit,  for  these  be 
wordes  formall,  and  our  men  of  Lawe  be  verie  precise 
in  their  words  formall.  If  he  say  legit y  the  Judge 
proceedeth  no  further  to  sentence  of  death :  if  he  say 
non,  the  Judge  forthwith,  or  the  next  day  proceedeth 
to  sentence,  which  is  doone  by  word  of  mouth  onelie:^ 
Thou  A.  hast  beene  endicted  of  such  a  felonie  and 
thereof  arraigned,  thou  hast  pleaded  not  guiltie,  and  put 
thy  selfe  upon  God  and  thy  Countrie,  they  have  found 
thee  guiltie,  thou  hast  nothing  to  say  for  thy  selfe,  the 
Lawe  is,  thou  shalt  first  returne  to  the  place  from 
whence  thou  earnest,  from  thence  thou  shalt  goe  to  the 
place  of  execution,  there  thou  shalt  hang  till  thou  be 
dead.  Then  he  saith  to  the  Sherife,  Sherife  doe 
execution  :  he  that  claimeth  his  Clergie,  is  burned 
foorthwith  in  the  presence  of  the  Judges  in  the  brawne 
of  his  hand  with  a  hot  yron  marked  with  the  letter 
T.  for  a  theefe,  or  M.  for  a  mansleer,  in  cases  where 
Clergie  is  admitted,  and  is  delivered  to  the  Bishops 
officer  to  be  kept  in  the  Bishops  prison,  from  whence 
after  a  certaine  time  by  an  other  enquest  of  Clarkes  he 
is  delivered  and  let  at  large :  but  if  he  be  taken  and 
condemned  the  second  time,  and  his  marke  espied,  he 
goeth  to  hanging.  He  whom  the  enquest  pronounceth 
not  guiltie  is  acquitted  foorthwith  and  discharged  of 
prison,  paying  the  gaolers  fees  :  and  if  he  knowe  any 
private  man  who  purchased  his  inditement,  and  is  able 



to  pursue  it,  he  may  have  an  action  of  conspiracie 
against  him,  and  a  large  amendes :  but  that  case 
chaunceth  seldome. 

Certaine  orders  peculiar  to  England, 

touching  punishment  of  malefadtors. 
Chap.  24. 

FOr  any  felonie,  manslaughter,  robberie,  murther, 
rape,  and  such  capitall  crimes  as  touch  not  treason 
and  Icesam  maiestatem,  we  have  by  the  Lawe  of  Eng- 
land no  other  punishment,  but  to  hang  till  they  be 
dead  :  when  they  be  dead,  everie  man  may  burie  them 
that  will,  as  commonly  they  be.  Heading,  tormenting, 
demembring,  either  arme  or  legge,  breaking  upon  the 
wheele,  empailing,  and  such  cruell  torments,  as  be 
used  in  other  nations  by  the  order  of  their  law,  we 
have  not :  and  yet  as  few  murthers  committed  as  any 
where  :  nor  it  is  not  in  the  Judges  or  the  Justices 
power,  to  aggravate  or  mitigate  the  punishment  of  the 
Lawe,  but  in  the  Prince  onely  and  his  privie  Counsell, 
which  is  marvellous  seldom  done.  Yet  notable  mur- 
therers  many  times  by  the  Princes  commaundement, 
after  they  be  hanged  with  corde  till  they  bee  dead, 
bee  hanged  with  chaines  while  they  rotte  in  the  ayre. 
If  the  wife  kill  her  husbande,  shee  shall  bee  burned 
alive.  If  the  servaunt  kill  his  master,  hee  shalbee 
drawen  on  a  hurdle  to  the  place  of  execution  :  it  is 
called  petit  treason.  Impoisoners,  if  the  person  die 
thereof,  by  a  new  lawe  made  in  King  Henrie  the 
eights  time  shalbe  boyled  to  death  :  but  this  mischiefe 
is  rare  and  almost  unknowen  in  England.  Attempting 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

to  impoison  a  man,  or  laying  await  to  kill  a  man, 
though  he  wound  him  daungerously,  yet  if  death  followe 
not,  is  no  felony  by  the  lawe  of  Englande,  for  the 
Prince  hath  lost  no  man,  and  life  ought  to  be  given  we 
say,  but  for  life  only.  And  againe,  when  a  man  is 
murdered,  all  be  principals  and  shall  die,  even  he  that 
doth  but  hold  the  candel  to  give  light  to  the  murderers. 
For  mitigation  and  moderation  of  paines,  is  but  corrup- 
tion of  Judges,  as  we  thinke.  Likewise,  torment  or 
question  which  is  used  by  the  order  of  the  civill  lawe 
and  custome  of  other  countreis  to  put  a  malefactor  to 
excessive  paine,  to  make  him  confesse  of  him  selfe,  or  of 
his  felowes  or  complices,  is  not  used  in  England,  it  is 
taken  for  senile.  For  what  can  he  serve  the  common 
wealth  after  as  a  free  man,  who  hath  his  bodie  so  haled 
and  tormented,  if  he  be  not  found  guiltie,  and  what 
amends  can  be  made  him  ?  And  if  he  must  die,  what 
crueltie  is  it  so  to  torment  him  before  ?  Likewise, 
confession  by  torment  is  esteemed  for  nothing,  for  if 
he  confesse  at  the  judgement,  the  tryall  of  the  xii  goeth 
not  upon  him  :  If  he  denie  the  fact,  that  which  he 
saide  before  hindereth  him  not.  The  nature  of  English 
men  is  to  neglect  death,  to  abide  no  torment  :  And 
therefore  he  will  confesse  rather  to  have  done  any 
thing,  yea,  to  have  killed  his  own  father,  than  to  suffer 
torment,  for  death  our  nation  doth  not  so  much  esteem 
as  a  mean  torment.  In  no  place  shal  you  see  male- 
factors go  more  constantly,  more  assuredly,  and  with 
lesse  lamentation  to  their  death  than  in  England. 
Againe,  the  people  not  accustomed  to  see  such  cruell 
torments,  will  pitie  the  person  tormented,  and  abhorre 
the  Prince  and  the  Judges,  who  should  bring  in  such 
crueltie  amongst  them,  and   the  xij.  men   the  rather 



absolve  him.  There  is  an  olde  lawe  of  England, 
that  if  any  gaoler  shall  put  any  prisoner  being  in  his 
custodie  to  any  torment,  to  the  intent  to  make  him  an 
approver,  that  is  to  saie  an  accuser  or  Index  of  his  com- 
plices, the  gaoler  shall  dye  therefore  as  a  felon.  And 
to  say  the  trueth,  to  what  purpose  is  it  to  use  torment  ? 
For  whether  the  malefactor  confesse  or  no,  and  whatso- 
ever he  saith,  if  the  enquest  of  xij.  do  find  him  guiltie,  he 
dyeth  therefore  without  delaye.  And  the  malefactour, 
seeing  there  is  no  remedie,  and  that  they  be  his  countrie 
men,  and  such  as  he  hath  himselfe  agreed  unto  it,  do 
finde  them  worthie  death,  yeeldes  for  the  most  part  unto 
it,  and  doeth  not  repine,  but  doth  accommodate  him 
selfe  to  aske  mercie  of  God.  The  nature  of  our  nation 
is  free,  stout,  haulte,  prodigall  of  life  and  bloud  :  but 
contumelie,  beatings,  servitude  and  servile  torment  and 
punishment  it  will  not  abide.  So  in  this  nature  and 
fashion,  our  auncient  Princes  and  legislators  have 
nourished  them,  as  to  make  them  stout  hearted,  coura- 
gious  and  souldiers,  not  villaines  and  slaves,  and  that 
is  the  scope  almost  of  all  our  policie.  The  xij.  as  soone 
as  they  have  given  their  verdict  are  dismissed  to  goe 
whither  they  will,  and  have  no  manner  commoditie  and 
profit  of  their  labour  and  verdict,  but  onely  do  service 
to  the  Prince  and  common  wealth. 

Of  Treason,  &   the  trial  which  is  used 

for  the  higher  nobilitie  and  Barons. 
Chap.  25. 

THe  same  order  touching  trial  by  enquest  of  xij 
men  is  taken  in  Treason,  but  the  paine  is  more 
cruell.  First  to  be  hanged,  taken  downe  alive,  his  bowels 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  2. 

taken  out  and  burned  before  his  face,  then  to  be 
beheaded,  and  quartered,  and  those  set  up  in  diverse 
places.  If  anie  Duke,  Marques,  or  any  other  of  the 
degree  of  a  Baron,  or  above,  Lord  of  the  Parliament  be 
appeached  of  treason,  or  any  other  capitall  crime,  he  is 
judged  by  his  peeres  and  equals  :  that  is,  the  yeomanrie 
doth  not  go  upon  him,  but  an  enquest  of  the  Lordes  of 
the  Parliament,  and  they  give  their  voice,  not  one  for 
all,  but  eche  severally  as  they  do  in  Parliament, 
beginning  at  the  yongest  Lord.  And  for  Judge  one 
Lord  sitteth,  who  is  Constable  of  England  for  that  day. 
The  judgement  once  given,  he  breaketh  his  staffe  and 
abdicateth  his  office.  In  the  rest  there  is  no  difference 
from  that  above  written. 




Of  that  which  in  other  countries  is  called 

appellation,  or  provocation,  to  amend  the  judgement 

or  sentence  definitive,  which  is  thought 

unjustly  given  in  causes  criminall. 

Chap.  i. 

IF  the  enquest  of  xii  men  do  seeme  to  the  Judges 
and  the  Justices  to  have  gon  too  violently  against 
the  evidence  given  in  matters  criminall,  either  it  is  that 
upon  slender  evidence  they  have  pronounced  him  giltie, 
whom  the  Judges  and  most  part  of  the  Justices  thinkes 
by  the  evidence  not  fullie  prooved  guiltie,  or  for  some 
other  cause,  do  thinke  the  person  rather  worthie  to 
live  than  to  die.  The  enquest  is  neverthelesse  dismissed : 
but  when  the  Judges  should  pronounce  the  sentence 
of  death  upon  the  person  found  guiltie,  he  will  differ  it, 
which  is  called  to  reprive  the  prisoner  (that  is  to  say  to 
sende  him  againe  to  prison)  and  so  declare  the  matter 
to  the  Prince,  and  obtaineth  after  a  time  for  the  prisoner 
his  pardon  :  and  as  for  provocation  or  appeale  which  is 
used  so  much  in  other  countries,  it  hath  no  place  in 
England,  after  sentence  given  by  the  xii,  whereby  the 


person  is  founde  guiltie  or  not  guiltie  :  but  without  that 
repriving  the  sentence  is  streight  put  in  execution  by 
the  sherife.  And  if  they  either  escape  or  die  an  other 
death,  the  sherife  escapeth  not  to  paie  a  great  fine  and 
ransom  at  the  Princes  mercie  :  if  having  pregnant 
evidence  neverthelesse  the  xii  doe  acquite  the  male- 
factor, which  they  will  doe  sometime,  and  especially  if 
they  perceive  either  one  of  the  Justices,  or  of  the 
Judges,  or  some  other  man  to  pursue  too  much  and  too 
malitiously  the  death  of  the  prisoner,  and  doe  suspect 
some  subornation  of  the  witnesse,  or  them  which  doe 
give  evidence,  and  sometime  if  they  perceive  the  Judge 
would  have  the  prisoner  escape,  and  in  repeating  the 
evidence  doe  give  them  thereof  some  watchworde.  But- 
if  they  doe  as  I  have  saide,  pronounce  not  guiltie  upon 
the  prisoner  against  whome  manifest  witnesse  is  brought 
in,  the  prisoner  escapeth  :  but  the  xii  not  onely  be 
rebuked  by  the  Judges,  but  also  threatned  of  punish- 
ment, and  many  times  commaunded  to  appeare  in  the 
starrechamber,  or  before  the  privie  counsell  for  the 
matter.  But  this  threatning  chaunceth  oftener  than 
the  execution  thereof,  and  the  xii  answere  with  most 
gentle  wordes,  they  did  it  according  to  their  consciences, 
and  pray  the  Judges  to  be  good  unto  them,  they  did  as 
they  thought  right,  and  as  they  accorded  all,  and  so  it 
passeth  away  for  the  most  part.  Yet  I  have  seene  in 
my  time  (but  not  in  the  raigne  of  the  Queene  nowe) 
that  an  enquest  for  pronouncing  one  not  guiltie  of 
treason  contrarie  to  such  evidence  as  was  brought  in, 
were  not  onely  imprisoned  for  a  space,  but  an  houge 
fine  set  upon  their  heads,  which  they  were  faine  to  pay  : 
An  other  enquest  for  acquiting  an  other,  beside  paying 
a  fine  of  money,  put  to  open  ignominie  and  shame. 



But  those  doinges  were  even  then  of  many  accounted 
verie  violent,  tyrannical,  and  contrarie  to  the  libertie 
and  custome  of  the.  realme  of  England.  Wherefore 
it  commeth  verie  seldome  in  use,  yet  so  much  at  a 
time  the  enquest  may  be  corrupted,  that  the  Prince 
may  have  cause  with  justice  to  punish  them  :  For  they 
are  men,  and  subject  to  corruption  and  parcialitie,  as 
v  others  be. 

What  remedie  is,  if  the  sentence  be 

thought  unjustly  given. 

Chap.  2. 

T  N  causes  civill  there  is  an  other  order  :  for  if  after 
JL  the  matter  be  pleaded  to  the  issue,  and  the  xij  men 
thereupon  impaneled,  the  evidence  brought  and  pleaded 
before  them  on  both  the  parties,  the  xij  seeme  to  be 
parciall,  and  to  have  given  sentence  contrarie  to  the 
evidence  shewed  unto  them  :  the  partie  greeved  may 
bring  against  them,  and  the  partie  for  whome  the 
sentence  is  given,  a  writ  of  attaint  :  and  where  as 
before  upon  the  first  quest  commonly  they  all  be 
yeomen,  now  uppon  this  attaint  must  go  xxiiij  gentle- 
men dwelling  within  the  shire,  and  xij  at  the  least  of 
the  hundreth  where  the  lande  lyeth.  The  matter  is 
pleaded  againe  before  the  same  Judges.  The  partie 
defendant  is  not  onely  nowe  he,  who  claimeth  the 
lande,  but  also  all  and  every  of  the  yeomen,  who  by 
their  verdict  did  give  it  him.  There  must  in  the  attaint 
no  more  evidence  be  brought  in,  but  onely  that  which 
was  brought  in,  and  alledged  before  the  first  enquest. 
And  if  this  seconde  enquest  of  xxiiij  gentlemen  do 
adjudge  as  the  first  did,  the  plaintife  shall  not  onely 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  3. 

lose  the  land,  but  also  paie  a  fine  to  the  Prince  and 
damages  to  the  partie.  If  this  seconde  enquest  do 
finde  that  the  first  enquest  hath  gone  parcially,  and 
against  the  evidence  brought  in  before  them,  the  first 
enquest  is  called  attainted,  and  accounted  as  perjured 
and  infamed.  The  Prince  had  before  the  waste  of  all 
their  lands  and  possessions  with  other  punishments, 
which  at  this  present  by  a  lawe  made  by  parliament  in 
the  time  of  king  Henrie  the  eight  is  abolished,  and 
nowe  by  that  law  or  act  of  parliament,  beside  other 
punishment,  eche  of  the  quest  attainted  payeth  unto 
the  Prince  and  partie  v.  li.  if  it  be  under  fourtie 
poundes  :  and  if  aboue,  then  xx.  li.  Attaints  be  verie 
seldome  put  in  use,  partly  because  the  gentlemen  will 
not  meete  to  slaunder  and  deface  the  honest  yeomen 
their  neighbours  :  so  that  of  a  long  time,  they  had 
rather  paie  a  mean  fine  than  to  appeare  and  make  the 
enquest.  And  in  the  meane  time  they  will  intreat  so 
much  as  in  them  lyeth  the  parties  to  come  to  some 
composition  and  agreement  among  them  selves,  as 
lightly  they  do,  except  either  the  corruption  of  the 
enquest  be  too  evident,  or  the  one  partie  is  too  obstinate 
and  headstrong.  And  if  the  gentlemen  do  appeare, 
gladlyer  they  will  confirme  the  first  sentence,  for  the 
causes  which  I  have  saide,  than  go  against  it.  But  if 
the  corruption  be  too  much  evident,  they  will  not 
sticke  to  attaint  the  first  enquest :  yet  after  the  gentle- 
men have  attainted  the  yeomen,  if  before  the  sentence 
be  given  by  the  Judge  (which  ordinarily  for  a  time  is 
differred)  the  parties  be  agreed,  or  one  of  them  be  dead, 
the  attaint  ceaseth.  ' 

If  at  anie  time  before  the  sentence  be  given  or  put 
fa)  execution,  there  be  found  some  such  errour  in  the 



writ,  in  the  proces,  or  forme  (as  our  lawyers  be  verie 
precise  and  curious  of  their  formes)  that  it  may  be 
revocable,  it  is  brought  afresh  to  the  disputation  by  a 
writ  of  errour,  and  all  that  is  doone  reversed.  But  that 
is  common  to  all  other  countries,  where  the  civill  law 
is  used,  which  they  call  de  nullitate  processus,  and  serveth 
both  in  Englande  and  in  other  places  aswell  in  causes 
criminall,  as  civill.  Other  kinde  of  appellation  to 
revoke  processes,  and  to  make  them  of  short,  long,  of 
long,  infinite,  which  is  used  by  the  civill  lawe,  we  have 
not  in  our  common  lawe  of  Englande.  By  supplication 
to  the  Prince  and  complaint  to  the  Chauncellor  upon 
supposall  of  losse  or  lacke  of  evidence,  or  too  much 
favour  in  the  countrey,  and  power  of  the  adversarie, 
there  is  in  our  countrey  as  well  as  theirs  both  stopping 
and  prolongation  of  Justice.  For  what  will  not  busie 
heades  and  lovers  of  trouble  never  being  satisfied  invent 
in  any  countrey  to  have  their  desire,  which  is  to  vex 
their  neighbours,  and  to  live  alwaies  in  disquiet  ?  Men 
even  permitted  of  God  like  flies,  and  lise,  and  other 
vermine  to  disquiet  them,  who  would  imploie  them- 
selves upon  better  businesse  and  more  necessarie  for 
the  common  wealth  :  these  men  are  hated,  and  feared 
of  their  neighbours,  loved  and  aided  of  them  which 
gaine  by  proces,  and  waxe  fatte  by  the  expence  and 
trouble  of  other.  But  as  these  men  ordinarily  spende 
their  owne  thrift,  and  make  others  against  their  wils  to 
spende  theirs  :  so  sometime  being  throughly  knowen, 
they  do  not  onely  live  by  the  losse  like  evill  husbandes, 
but  beside  rebuke  and  shame,  by  the  equitie  of  the 
Prince  and  courtes  soveraigne,  they  come  to  be  extra- 
ordinarily punished,  both  corporally,  and  by  their  purse, 
which  thing  in  my  minde  is  as  royall  and  princely  an 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  3. 

act,  and  so  beneficiall  to  the  commonwealth,  as  in  so 
small  a  matter  a  King  or  a  Queene  can  doe,  for  the 
repose  and  good  education  of  their  subiectes. 

Of  that  which   in   England  is  called  ap- 
peale, in  other  places  accusation. 

Chap.  3. 

IF  any  man  hath  killed  my  father,  my  sonne,  my 
wife,  my  brother,  or  next  kinsman,  I  have  choice 
to  cause  him  to  be  endicted,  by  giving  information  to 
the  enquest  of  enquirie,  (although  he  chaunce  to  escape 
the  Constable  or  Justices  handes,  and  therefore  not  to 
be  apprehended)  and  thereupon  to  procure  him  to  be 
outlawed,  or  else  within  a  yeere  and  a  day  I  may  enter 
my  appeale,  that  is  mine  accusation  against  him.  If  1 1 
begun  first  to  pursue  him  by  information  or  denuncia- 
tion to  enditement,  I  am  nowe  no  partie  but  the 
Prince,  who  for  his  duetie  to  God  and  his  common 
wealth  and  subjects,  must  see  justice  executed  against 
all  malefactors  and  offenders  against  the  peace,  which  is 
called  Gods  and  his,  and  doeth  in  such  maner  as  I  have 
saide  before.  If  I  leave  that  and  will  appeale,  which  is 
profer  my  accusation  against  him  who  hath  doone  to 
me  this  injurie,  the  defendant  hath  this  advauntage  to 
put  himselfe  to  the  Jurie,  which  is  to  that  which  before 
is  saide  to  have  that  issue  and  triall  by  God  and  his 
countrie,  whereof  the  fashion  I  have  at  large  declared  : 
or  to  demaunde  the  triall  by  battle,  wherein  both  the 
parties  must  eyther  themselves  in  person,  or  else  finde 
other  for  them,  who  be  called  in  our  Law  Champions 

h  113 


or  Campions,  some  doeth  interprete  them  d&krjTa^ 
because  they  be  men  chosen,  fat,  lustie,  fit  to  the  feate, 
or  as  the  Frenche  doe  terme  them  adroifls  aux  armes, 
which  shall  fight  it  out  by  fj,ovofj,a%lay  or  as  now  they 
doe  call  it  duellum,  or  the  campe,  which  shall  have 
all  things  equall :  but  according  as  Mars  giveth  the 
victorie,  so  the  Lawe  is  judged  the  one  as  peraSlus  reus, 
the  other  is  calumniator  to  suffer  the  paine  of  death. 
So  that  by  the  great  assise  there  is  no  appellation  but 
death  or  life  to  the  defendant,  but  this  is  more 
daungerous  and  equall,  for  the  one  or  the  other  must 
die.  So  it  is  not  in  the  grande  assise,  for  the  reus  or 
defendaunt  is  onely  in  daunger  of  death.  Short  it  is 
from  day  to  sunne  set,  the  quarell  is  ended,  or  sooner 
who  hath  the  better  fortune.  This  seemeth  very 
militarie  (as  in  maner  all  our  policie  of  Englande)  and 
to  have  as  small  to  doe  with  Lawyers  as  with  Phisi- 
tions,  quicklie  to  dispatche,  and  for  the  rest  to  returne, 
eche  man  to  his  businesse,  to  serve  the  common  wealth 
in  his  vocation.  The  Popes  of  Rome,  and  men  of  the 
Church  who  of  long  time  have  had  dominion  in  our 
consciences,  and  would  bring  things  to  a  more  modera- 
tion, have  much  detested  this  kinde  of  triall  and  judge- 
ment, as  reason  is  everie  man  misliketh  that  which 
is  not  like  to  his  education,  and  colde  reasoning  by 
Theologie  and  Philosophic  :  they  I  say  much  mislike 
many  things  doone  necessarily  in  whot  policie.  At  the 
least  a  common  wealth  militarie  must  adventure  many 
things  to  keepe  it  in  quiet,  which  cannot  seeme  so 
precisely  good  to  them  which  dispute  thereof  in  the 
shadowe  and  in  their  studies  :  Howsoever  it  be,  this 
kinde  of  triall  of  long  time  hath  not  beene  used.  So 
that  at  this  time  we  may  rather  seeke  the  experience  of 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  3. 

it  out  of  our  histories  of  time  passed,  than  of  any  viewe 
or  sight  thereof,  of  them  which  are  nowe  alive.  Never- 
thelesse  the  Lawe  remaineth  still,  and  is  not  abolished, 
and  if  it  shall  chaunce  the  murtherer  or  mansleer  (the 
one  we  call  him  that  lyeth  in  waite,  and  as  they  terme 
it  in  Frenche  de  guet  appendaunt  killeth  the  man,  the 
other  who  by  casuall  falling  out  and  sodaine  debate 
and  choller  doeth  the  same  which  way  soever  it  be 
doone)  if  he  that  hath  slaine  the  man,  hath  his  pardon 
of  the  prince,  as  occasion  or  the  favour  of  the  Prince 
may  so  present,  that  he  may  have  it,  yet  the  partie 
grieved  hath  these  two  remedies,  I  say  to  require  justice 
by  grand  assise,  or  battle  upon  his  appeale  and  private 
revenge,  which  is  not  denyed  him.  And  if  the  de- 
fendant either  by  great  assise  or  by  battle  be  convinced 
upon  that  appeale,  he  shall  die,  notwithstanding  the 
Princes  pardon.  So  much  favourable  our  Princes  be, 
and  the  lawe  of  our  Realme  to  justice  and  to  the 
punishment  of  blood  violently  shed. 

Of  the  Court  of  Starre  Chamber. 
Chap.  4. 

THere  is  yet  in  Englande  an  other  court,  of  the 
which  that  I  can  understand  there  is  not  the  like 
in  any  other  Countrie.  In  the  Terme  time  (the  Terme 
time  as  I  have  heretofore  shewed,  I  call  the  time  and 
those  daies  when  the  Lawe  is  exercised  in  Westminster 
hall,  which  as  I  have  said  is  but  at  certaine  times 
and  termes)  every  weeke  once  at  the  least,  (which  is 
commonly    on    Fridaies,    and    Wednesdaies,    and    the 

H  2  115 


next  day  after  that  the  terme  doeth  ende,)  the  Lorde 
Chauncellor,  and  the  Lordes  and  other  of  the  privie 
Counsell,  so  many  as  will,  and  other  Lordes  and  Barons 
which   be  not  of  the  Privie  Counsell,  and  be  in  the 
towne,  and  the  Judges  of  England,  specially  the  two 
chiefe  Judges,  from  ix.  of  the  clocke  till  it  be  xj.  doe 
sit  in  a  place  which  is  called  the  starre  chamber,  either 
because  it  is  full  of  windowes,  or  because  at  the  first  all 
the  roofe  thereof  was  decked  with   images  of  starres 
.    gilted.     There  is  plaints  heard  of  riots.^  Riot  is  called 
in  our  English  terme  or  speache,  where  any  number  is 
assembled  with  force  to  doe  any  thing  :  and  it  had  the 
beginning,  because  that  our  being  much  accustomed 
either  in  foreine  wars,  in  Fraunce,  Scotland,  or  Ireland, 
or  being  overmuch  exercised  with  civill  warres  within 
the  Realme  (which  is  the  fault  that  falleth  ordinarily 
amongest  bellicous    nations)  whereby  men  of  warre, 
Captaines  and  souldiers  become  plentifull :  which  when 
they  have  no  externe  service  wherewith  to  occupie  their 
buisie  heads  and  handes  accustomed  to  fight  and  quarell, 
must  needes  seeke  quarels  and   contentions  amongest 
themselves,  and    become   so    readie    to  oppresse    right 
among   their  neighbours,  as  they  were  woont  before 
with    praise   of  manhoode,  to  be  in   resisting    iniurie 
offered    by  their  enemies.      So  that  our  nation    used 
hereunto,  and  upon  that  more  insolent  at  home,  and 
not  easie  to  be  governed  by  Lawe  and  politike  order, 
men  of  power  beginning  many  fraies,  and  the  stronger 
by  factions  and  parties  offering  too  much  injurie  to  the 
weaker,  were  occasions  of  making  good  Lawes.     First 
of  reteiners,  that  no  man  should  have  above  a  number 
in  his  Liverie  or  retinue  :  then  of  the  enquirie  of  routs 
and  riots  at  everie  Sessions,  and  of  the  lawe  whereby  it 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  3. 

is  provided  that  if  any  by  force  or  by  riot  enter  upon 
any  possessions,  the  Justices  of  the  peace  shal  assemble 
themselves  and  remoove  the  force,  and  within  certain 
time  enquire  thereof.  And  further,  because  such  things 
are  not  commonlie  done  by  meane  men,  but  such  as  be 
of  power  and  force,  and  be  not  to  be  dealt  withal  of 
everie  man,  nor  of  meane  Gentlemen  :  if  the  riot  be 
found  and  certified  to  the  Kings  Counsell,  or  if  other- 
wise it  be  complained  of,  the  partie  is  sent  for,  and  he 
must  appeare  in  this  starre  chamber,  where  seeing 
(except  the  presence  of  the  Prince  onely)  as  it  were  the 
maiestie  of  the  whole  Realme  before  him,  being  never 
so  stoute,  he  will  be  abashed :  and  being  called  to 
aunswere  (as  he  must  come  of  what  degree  soever  he 
be)  he  shall  be  so  charged  with  such  gravitie,  with  such 
reason  and  remonstrance,  and  of  those  chiefe  personages 
of  Englande,  one  after  an  other  handeling  him  on  that 
sort,  that  what  courage  soever  he  hath,  his  heart  will 
fall  to  the  grounde,  and  so  much  the  more,  when  if  he 
make  not  his  aunswere  the  better,  as  seldome  he  can  so 
in  open  violence,  he  shalbe  commaunded  to  the  Fleete, 
where  he  shall  be  kept  in  prison  in  such  sort  as  these 
Judges  shall  appoint  him,  lie  there  till  he  be  wearie 
aswell  of  the  restraint  of  his  libertie,  as  of  the  great 
expences,  which  he  must  there  sustaine,  and  for  a  time 
be  forgotten,  whiles  after  long  suite  of  his  friendes,  he 
will  be  glad  to  be  ordered  by  reason.  Sometime  as  his 
deserts  be,  he  payeth  a  great  fine  to  the  Prince,  besides 
great  costs  and  dammages  to  the  partie,  and  yet  the 
matter  wherefore  he  attempteth  this  riot  and  violence 
is  remitted  to  the  common  lawe.  For  that  is  the  effect 
of  this  Court  to  bridle  such  stoute  noble  men,  or  Gentle- 
men which  would  offer  wrong  by  force  to  any  manner 



men,  and  cannot  be  content  to  demaund  or  defend 
the  right  by  order  of  lawe. ,y  This  court  began  long 
before,  but  tooke  great  augmentation  and  authoritie  at 
that  time  that  Cardinall  Wohey  Archbishop  of  Yorke 
was  Chauncellor  of  Englande,  who  of  some  was 
thought  to  have  first  devised  the  Court,  because  that 
he  after  some  intermission  by  negligence  of  time, 
augmented  the  authoritie  of  it,  which  was  at  that  time 
marvellous  necessary  to  doe,  to  represse  the  insolencie 
of  the  noble  men  and  gentlemen  of  the  North  partes 
of  Englande,  who  being  farre  from  the  King  and  the 
seate  of  iustice  made  almost  as  it  were  an  ordinarie 
warre  among  themselves,  and  made  their  force  their 
Lawe,  banding  themselves  with  their  tenaunts  and 
servaunts  to  doe  or  revenge  injurie  one  against  another 
as  they  listed.  This  thing  seemed  not  supportable  to 
the  noble  prince  King  Henrie  the  eight:  and  sending 
for  them  one  after  another  to  his  Court  to  aunswere 
before  the  persons  before  named,  after  they  had  had 
remonstrance  shewed  them  of  their  evill  demeanor, 
and  beene  well  disciplined  as  well  by  words  as  by 
fleeting  a  while,  and  thereby  their  purse  and  courage 
somwhat  asswaged,  they  began  to  range  themselves  in 
order,  and  to  understand  that  they  had  a  Prince  who 
would  rule  his  subjects  by  his  lawes  and  obedience. 
Sith  that  time  this  court  hath  beene  in  more  estimation, 
and  is  continued  to  this  day  in  manner  as  I  have  saide 


ANGLORUM     LIB.   3. 

Of  the  Courts  of  Wards  and  Liveries. 
Chap.  5. 

E  whom  we  call  a  ward  in  Englande,  is  called 


in  Latine  pupillus,  and  in  Greeke  op<f>avo<;. 
The  gardian  is  called  in  Latine  tutor,  in  Greek  e7Ti- 
T/307T09.  A  warde  or  infant  is  taken  for  a  childe  in 
base  age,  whose  father  is  dead.  The  Romanes  made 
two  distinctions  pupillum  &  minor  em,  the  one  to  xiiij. 
yere  old,  the  other  was  accounted  from  thence  to  xxv. 
And  as  pupillus  had  tutorem,  so  minor  had  curatorem 
til  he  came  to  the  age  of  xxv.  These  tutors  or* 
curators  were  accountable  for  the  revenues  of  the 
pupils  minors  lands,  and  great  provision  and  many 
lawes  and  orders  is  made  for  them  in  the  bookes  of 
the  civil  Lawe,  for  rendering  just  and  true  accounts. 
So  that  to  be  a  gardian  or  tutor  was  accounted  among 
them  to  be  a  charge  or  trouble,  a  thing  subject  to 
much  encumbraunce  and  small  profite,  so  that  diverse 
meanes  were  sought  for,  to  excuse  men  from  it.  With 
us  this  is  cleane  contrarie,  for  it  is  reckoned  a  profite 
to  have  a  warde.  For  the  Lorde  of  whom  the  warde 
doeth  hold  the  lande,  so  soone  as  by  the  death  of  the 
father  the  childe  falleth  warde  unto  him,  he  seaseth 
upon  the  body  of  the  wacd  and  his,  landes,  of  which 
(so  that  he  doeth  nourish  the  warde,)  he  taketh  the 
profite  without  accounts,  and  beside  that  offering  to 
his  warde  covenable  mariage  without  dispergement 
before  the  age  of  xxj.  yeres  if  it  be  a  man,  of  xiiij.  if 
it  be  a  woman.  If  the  ward  refuse  to  take  that 
mariage,  he  or  she  must  pay  the  value  of  the  mariage, 
which  is  commonly  rated  according  to  the  profite  of 



his  landes.  All  this  while  I  speake  of  that  which  is 
called  in  French  garde  noble,  that  is  of  such  as  holde 
lands  of  other,  by  knight  service,  for  that  is  an  other 
kinde  of  service  which  we  call  in  French  gard  returier, 
we  call  it  gard  in  socage,  that  is  of  such  as  doe  not 
holde  by  knight  service,  but  by  tenure  of  the  plough. 
This  wardship  falleth  to  him  who  is  next  of  the  kinne, 
and  cannot  inherite  the  land  of  the  warde  as  the  uncle 
by  the  mothers  side,  if  the  land  doe  discend  by  the 
father,  and  of  the  fathers  side,  if  the  lande  discend 
by  the  mother.  This  gardian  is  accountable  for  the 
revenues  and  profites  of  the  lande,  as  the  tutor  by  the 
civill  Lawe  to  the  warde  or  pupill  so  soone  as  he  is 

^of  full  age. 

The  man  is  not  out  of  wardshippe  by  our  lawe 
till  xxj.  yere  olde,  from  thence  he  is  reckoned  of  full 
age,  aswell  as  in  the  Romane  lawes  at  xxv.  The 
woman  at  xiiij.  is  out  of  warde,  for  she  may  have  an 
husband  able  to  doe  knightes  service  say  our  bookes. 
And  because  our  wives  be  in  the  power  (as  I  shall 
tell  you  hereafter)  of  their  husbands,  it  is  no  reason, 
she  should  be  in  two  diverse  gards. 

fS  Many  men  doe  esteeme  this  wardship  by  knightes 
service  verie  unreasonable  and  unjust,  and  contrarie 
to  nature,  that  a  Freeman  and  Gentleman  should  be 
bought  and  solde  like  an  horse  or  an  oxe,  and  so  change 
gardians  as  masters  and  lordes :  at  whose  governement 
not  onely  his  bodie  but  his  landes  and  his  houses  should 
be,  to  be  wasted  and  spent  without  accounts,  and 
then  to  marie  at  the  will  of  him,  who  is  his  naturall 
Lorde,  or  his  will  who  hath  bought  him,  to  such  as 
he  like  not  peradventure,  or  else  to  pay  so  great  a 
ransome.  This  is  the  occasion  they  say,  why  many 
1 20 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  3. 

gentlemen  be  so  evil  brought  up  touching  vertue  and 
learning,  and  but  onely  in  deintinesse  and  pleasure  : 
and  why  they  be  maried  very  young  and  before  they 
bee  wise,  and  many  times  do  not  greatly  love  their 
wives.  For  when  the  father  is  dead,  who  hath  the 
natural  care  of  his  childe,  not  the  mother,  nor  the 
unclde,  nor  the  next  of  kinne,  who  by  all  reason  would 
have  most  naturall  care  to  the  bringing  up  of  the 
infant  and  minor,  but  the  Lorde  of  whom  he  holdeth 
his  land  in  knights  service,  be  it  the  King  or  Queene, 
Duke,  Marquesse,  or  any  other,  hath  the  governement 
of  his  bodie  and  mariage,  or  else  who  that  bought  him 
at  the  first,  second  or  thirde  hande.  The  Prince  as 
having  so  many,  must  needes  give  or  sell  his  wardes 
away  to  other,  and  so  he  doeth.  Other  doe  but  seeke 
which  way  they  may  make  most  advauntage  of  him, 
as  of  an  oxe  or  other  beast.  These  all  (say  they,) 
have  no  naturall  care  of  the  infant,  but  of  their  owne 
gaine,  and  especially  the  buyer  will  not  suffer  his  warde 
to  take  any  great  paines,  either  in  studie,  or  any  other 
hardenesse,  least  he  should  be  sicke  and  die,  before  he 
hath  maried  his  daughter,  sister  or  cousin,  for  whose 
sake  he  bought  him :  and  then  all  his  money  which 
he  paide  for  him  should  be  lost.  So  he,  who  had  a 
father,  which  kept  a  good  house,  and  had  all  things 
in  order  to  maintaine  it,  shall  come  to  his  owne,  after 
he  is  out  of  wardshippe,  woods  decayed,  houses  fallen 
downe,  stocke  wasted  and  gone,  land  let  foorth  and 
plowed  to  the  baren,  and  to  make  amends,  shall  pay 
yet  one  yeres  rent  for  reliefe  and  sue  ouster  le  maind, 
beside  other  charges,  so  that  not  of  manie  yeres  and 
peradventure  never  he  shall  be  able  to  recover,  and 
come  to  the  estate  where  his  father  left  it.     This  as 



it  is  thought  was  first  graunted  upon  a  great  extremitie 
to  King  Henrie  the  3.  for  a  time  upon  the  warre 
which  he  had  with  his  Barons,  and  afterward  in- 
creased, and  multiplied  to  more  and  more  persons  and 
grievances,  and  will  be  the  decay  of  the  nobilitie  and 
libertie  of  England.  Other  againe  say,  the  warde  hath 
no  wrong.  For  eyther  his  father  purchased  the  lande, 
or  it  did  discend  unto  him  from  his  auncesters  with  this 
charge.  And  because  he  holdeth  by  knightes  service, 
which  is  in  armes  and  defence,  seeing  that  by  age  he 
cannot  doe  that  whereto  hee  is  bound  by  his  lande, 
it  is  reason  he  aunswere  that  profite  to  the  Lorde, 
whereby  he  may  have  as  able  a  man  to  doe  the  service. 
The  first  knights  in  Rome,  those  that  were  chosen 
equites  Romania  had  equum  publicum  on  which  they 
served,  and  that  was  at  the  charge  of  widowes  and 
wards,  as  appeareth  by  Titus  Livius,  because  that 
those  persons  could  not  doe  bodilie  service  to  the 
common  wealth.  Wherfore  this  is  no  newe  thing, 
but  thought  reasonable  in  that  most  wise  common 
wealth,  and  to  the  prudent  King  Servius  Tullius.  As 
for  the  education  of  our  common  wealth,  it  was  at 
the  first  militaire,  and  almost  in  all  things  the  scope 
and  deseigne  thereof  is  militaire.  Yet  was  it  thought 
most  like,  that  noble  men,  good  knights,  and  great 
captaines  would  bring  up  their  wards  in  their  owne 
feates  and  vertues,  and  then  mary  them  into  like  rase 
and  stocke  where  they  may  finde  and  make  friendes, 
who  can  better  looke  to  the  education  or  better  skill 
of  the  bringing  up  of  a  gentleman,  than  he  who  for 
his  higher  nobilitie  hath  such  a  one  to  holde  of  him 
by  knights  service,  or  would  doe  it  better  than  he  that 
looketh  or  may  claime  such  service  of  his  ward,  when 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   3. 

age  and  yeres  will  make  him  able  to  doe  it.  That 
which  is  saide  that  this  manner  of  wardship  began  in 
the  time  of  King  Henrie  the  3.  cannot  seeme  true. 
For  in  Normandie  and  other  places  of  Fraunce  the 
same  order  is. 

And  that  statute  made  in  King  Henrie  the  thirds 
time  touching  wards,  to  him  that  will  wey  it  wel,  may 
seeme  rather  a  qualification  of  that  matter,  and  an 
argument  that  the  fashion  of  wardship  was  long  before  : 
but  of  this  matter  an  other  time  shall  be  more  con- 
venient to  dispute.  This  may  suffice  to  declare  the 
maner  of  it. 

Of  wives  and  manages. 
Chap.  6. 

THe  wives  in  Englande  be  as  I  saide  in  potestate 
maritorum,  not  that  the  husbande  hath  vita  ac 
necis  potestatem,  as  the  Romans  had  in  the  olde  time  of 
their  children,  for  that  is  onely  in  the  power  of  the 
Prince,  and  his  lawes,  as  I  have  saide  before,  but  that 
whatsoever  they  have  before  mariage,  as  soone  as 
mariage  is  solemnished  is  their  husbandes,  I  meane  of 
money,  plate,  juelles,  cattaile,  and  generally  all  move- 
ables. For  as  for  lande  and  heritage  followeth  the 
succession,  and  is  ordered  by  the  Lawe  as  I  shall  say 
heereafter :  and  what  soever  they  gette  after  mariage, 
they  get  to  their  husbands.  They  neither  can  give  nor 
sell  anie  thing  either  of  their  husbandes,  or  their  owne. 
Theirs  no  moveable  thing  is  by  the  law  of  England 
constanti  matrimonii),  but  as  peculium  servi  aut  filij  fami- 
lias :  and  yet  in  moveables  at  the  death  of  her  husbande 



she  can  claime  nothing,  but  according  as  hee  shall  will 
by  his  Testament,  no  more  than  his  sonne  can :  all 
the  rest  is  in  the  disposition  of  the  executors  if  he  die 
testate.  Yet  in  London  and  other  great  cities  they 
have  that  lawe  and  custome,  that  when  a  man  dieth, 
his  goods  be  divided  into  three  partes.  One  thirde 
is  imployed  uppon  the  buriall  and  the  bequestes  which 
the  testator  maketh  in  his  testament.  An  other  thirde 
part  the  wife  hath  as  her  right,  and  the  thirde  third 
part  is  the  dewe  and  right  of  his  children,  equally  to 
be  divided  among  them.  So  that  a  man  there  can 
make  testament  but  of  one  thirde  of  his  goods:  if 
he  die  intestate,  the  funerals  deducted  the  goods  be 
equally  divided  betweene  the  wife  and  the  children. 

By  the  common  lawe  of  Englande  if  a  man  die 
intestate,  the  Ordinarie  (which  is  the  Bishoppe  by 
common  intendment)  sometime  the  Archdeacon,  Dean, 
or  Prebendarie  by  priviledge  and  prescription,  doeth 
commit  the  administration  of  the  goods  to  the  widowe 
or  the  child,  or  next  kinsman  of  the  dead,  appointing 
out  portions  to  such  as  naturally  it  belongeth  unto, 
and  the  Ordinarie  by  common  understanding  hath  such 
gravitie  and  discretion  as  shalbe  meete  for  so  absolute 
an  authoritie,  for  the  most  part  following  such  division 
as  is  used  in  London,  either  by  thirdes  or  halfes.  Our 
forefathers  newely  converted  to  the  Christian  faith  had 
such  confidence  in  their  pastors  and  instructours  and 
tooke  them  to  be  men  of  such  conscience  that  they 
committed  that  matter  to  their  discretion,  and  belike 
at  the  first  they  were  such  as  would  seeke  no  private 
profit  to  themselves  thereby,  that  being  once  so  or- 
deined  hath  still  so  continued.  The  abuse  which  hath 
followed  was  in  part  redressed  by  certaine  actes  of 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  3. 

parliament  made  in  the  time  of  King  Henrie  the  eight, 
touching  the  probate  of  testamentes  committing  of 
administration  and  mortuaries.  But  to  turne  to  the 
matter  which  we  nowe  have  in  hande,  the  wife  is  so 
much  in  the  power  of  her  husband,  that  not  onely  her 
goods  by  marriage  are  streight  made  her  husbandes,  and 
she  looseth  all  her  administration  which  she  had  of 
them :  but  also  where  all  English  men  have  name  and 
surname,  as  the  Romans  had,  Marcus  Tullius,  Caius 
Pompeius,  Caius  Iuliusy  whereof  the  name  is  given  to  us 
at  the  font,  the  surname  is  the  name  of  the  gentilitie 
and  stocke  which  the  sonne  doth  take  of  the  father 
alwaies,  as  the  olde  Romans  did,  our  daughters  so 
soone  as  they  be  maried  loose  the  surname  of  their 
father,  and  of  the  family  and  stocke  whereof  they  doe 
come,  and  take  the  surname  of  their  husbands,  as 
transplanted  from  their  family  into  another.  So  that 
if  my  wife  was  called  before  Philippe  Wilford  by  her 
owne  name  and  her  fathers  surname,  so  soone  as  she 
is  maried  to  me  she  is  no  more  called  Philippe  JVylfordy 
but  Philippe  Smith,  and  so  must  she  write  and  signe : 
and  as  she  changeth  husbandes,  so  she  chaungeth 
surnames,  called  alwaies  by  the  surname  of  her  last 
husbande.  Yet  if  a  woman  once  marrie  a  Lorde  or 
a  Knight,  by  which  occasion  she  is  called  my  Ladie 
with  the  surname  of  her  husbande,  if  he  die  and  she 
take  a  husbande  of  a  meaner  estate  by  whom  she  shall 
not  be  called  Ladie  (such  is  the  honour  we  doe  give 
to  women)  she  shall  still  be  called  Ladie  with  the 
surname  of  her  first  husbande  and  not  of  the  seconde. 

I  thinke  among  the  olde  Romans  those  marriages^ 
which  were  made  per  coemptionem  in  manum,  and  per  ees 
and  libram  made  the  wife  in  manu   &  pot  est  ate  viri, 



wherof  also  we  had  in  our  olde  lawe  and  ceremonies 
of  mariage,  a  certaine  memorie  as  a  viewe  and  vestigium. 
For  the  woman  at  the  Church  dore  was  given  of  the 
father  or  some  other  man  next  of  her  kinne  into  the 
handes  of  the  husbande,  and  he  layde  downe  golde  and 
silver  for  her  upon  the  booke,  as  though  he  did  buy 
her,  the  priest  belike  was  in  steede  of  Lipripeus'.  our 
mariages  be  esteemed  perfect  by  the  law  of  England, 
when  they  be  solemnished  in  the  Church  or  Chappell, 
in  the  presence  of  the  priest  and  other  witnesses.  And 
this  only  maketh  both  the  husbande  and  the  wife 
capable  of  all  the  benefites  which  our  lawe  doth  give 
unto  them  and  their  lawefull  children.  In  so  much 
that  if  I  marie  the  widowe  of  one  lately  dead,  which 
at  the  time  of  her  husbandes  death  was  with  childe, 
if  the  childe  be  borne  after  mariage  solemnished  with 
me,  this  childe  shalbe  my  heire,  and  is  accounted  my 
lawefull  sonne,  not  his  whose  childe  it  is  in  deede,  so 
precisely  wee  doe  take  the  letter  where  it  is  saide,  pater 
est  quern  nuptice  demonstrant.  Those  waies  and  meanes 
which  Justinian  doth  declare  to  make  bastardes  to  be 
lawefull  children,  muliers  or  rather  melieurs  (for  such 
a  terme  our  lawe  useth  for  them  which  be  lawefull 
children)  be  of  no  effect  in  England,  neither  the  Pope 
nor  Emperour,  nor  the  Prince  himselfe  never  could 
there  legittimate  a  bastarde  to  enjoy  any  benefitte  of 
our  lawe,  the  Parliament  hath  onely  that  power. 

Although  the  wife  be  (as  I  have  written  before)  in 
manu  &  potestate  mariti,  by  our  lawe  yet  they  be  not 
kept  so  streit  as  in  mew  and  with  a  garde  as  they  be 
in  Italy  and  Spaine,  but  have  almost  as  much  libertie 
as  in  Fraunce,  and  they  have  for  the  most  part  all  the 
charge  of  the  house  and  houshoulde  (as  it  may  appeare 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   3. 

by  Aristotle  and  Plato  the  wives  of  the  Greekes  had  in 
their  time)  which  is  in  deede  the  naturall  occupation, 
exercise,  office  and  part  of  a  wife.  The  husband  to 
meddle  with  the  defence  either  by  lawe  or  force,  and 
with  all  foren  matters  which  is  the  naturall  part  and 
office  of  the  man,  as  I  have  written  before.  And 
although  our  lawe  may  seeme  somewhat  rigorous 
toward  the  wives,  yet  for  the  most  part  they  can 
handle  their  husbandes  so  well  and  so  doulcely,  and 
specially  when  their  husbands  be  sicke :  that  where 
the  lawe  giveth  them  nothing,  their  husbandes  at 
their  death  of  their  good  will  give  them  all.  And 
fewe  there  be  that  be  not  made  at  the  death  of  their 
husbandes  either  sole  or  chiefe  executrixes  of  his  last 
wil  and  testament,  and  have  for  the  most  part  the 
governement  of  the  children  and  their  portions :  ex- 
cept it  be  in  London,  where  a  peculiar  order  is 
taken  by  the  citie  much  after  the  fashion  of  the  civill 

All  this  while  I  have  spoken  onely  of  moveable  ^ 
goods:  if  the  wife  be  an  enheretrix  and  bring  lande 
with  her  to  the  mariage,  that  lande  descendeth  to  her 
eldest  sonne,  or  is  divided  among  her  daughters.  Also 
the  manner  is,  that  the  lande  which  the  wife  bringeth 
to  the  mariage  or  purchaseth  afterwardes,  the  husbande 
can  not  sell  nor  alienate  the  same,  no  not  with  her 
consent,  nor  she  her  selfe  during  the  mariage,  except 
that  she  be  sole  examined  by  a  Judge  at  the  common 
lawe :  and  if  he  have  no  childe  by  her  and  she  die,  the 
lande  goeth  to  her  next  heires  at  the  common  lawe : 
but  if  in  the  mariage  he  have  a  child  by  her,  which 
is  heard  once  to  crie,  whether  the  childe  live  or  die, 
the  husbande  shall  have  the  usufruite  of  her    landes, 



(that  is  the  profitte  of  them  during  his  life)  and  that 
^  is  called  the  courtisie  of  Englande. 

Likewise  if  the  husbande  have  any  lande  either  by 
inheritance  descended  or  purchased  and  bought,  if  hee 
die  before  the  wife,  she  shall  have  the  usufruite  of  one 
thirde  part  of  his  landes.  That  is,  she  shall  holde  the 
one  thirde  part  of  his  landes  during  her  life  as  her 
dowrie,  whether  he  hath  child  by  her  or  no.  If  he 
hath  any  children,  the  rest  descendeth  streight  to  the 
eldest :  if  he  hath  none,  to  the  next  heire  at  the 
common  lawe :  and  if  she  mislike  the  division,  she 
shal  aske  to  be  indowed  of  the  fairest  of  his  landes 
to  the  thirde  part. 

This  which  I  have  written  touching  mariage  and 
the  right  in  moveables  and  unmoveables  which  com- 
meth  thereby,  is  to  be  understoode  by  the  common 
law  when  no  private  contract  is  more  particularly 
made.  If  there  be  any  private  pacts,  covenants,  and 
contracts  made  before  the  mariage  betwixt  the  hus- 
bande and  the  wife,  by  themselves,  by  their  parents, 
or  their  friends,  those  have  force  and  be  kept  according 
to  the  firmitie  and  strength  in  which  they  are  made, 
And  this  is  ynough  of  wives  and  mariage. 

Of  Children. 

Chap.  7. 

OUr  children  be  not  in  potestate  parentum,  as  the 
children  of  the  Romans  were :  but  as  soone  as 
they  be  puberes,  which  we  call  the  age  of  discretion, 
before  that  time  nature  doth  tell  they  be  but  as  it  were 
partes  parentum.  That  which  is  theirs  they  may  give 
or  sell,  and  purchase  to  themselves  either  lands  and 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  3. 

other  moveables  the  father  having  nothing  to  doe 
therewith.  And  therefore  emancipatio  is  cleane  super- 
fluous, we  knowe  not  what  it  is.  Likewise  sui  k&redes, 
complaints  de  inofficioso  testamento  or  prateritorum  liber- 
orum  non  emancipatorum  have  no  effect  nor  use  in  our 
lawe,  nor  wee  have  no  manner  to  make  lawefull  children 
but  by  mariage,  and  therefore  we  knowe  not  what  is 
adoptio  nor  arrogatio.  The  testator  disposeth  in  his 
last  will  his  moveable  goods  freely  as  he  thinketh 
meete  and  convenient  without  controlement  of  wife 
or  children.  And  our  testamentes  for  goods  moveable 
be  not  subject  to  the  ceremonies  of  the  civill  lawe, 
but  made  with  all  libertie  and  freedome,  and  iure 
militari.  Of  landes  as  ye  have  understoode  before, 
there  is  difference :  for  when  the  owner  dieth,  his 
lande  discendeth  onely  to  his  eldest  sonne,  all  the  rest 
both  sonnes  and  daughters  have  nothing  by  the  com- 
mon lawe,  but  must  serve  their  eldest  brother  if  they 
will,  or  make  what  other  shift  they  can  to  live :  except 
that  the  father  in  life  time  doe  make  some  conveiance 
and  estates  of  part  of  his  land,  to  their  use,  or  els  by 
devise,  which  word  amongest  our  lawiers  doth  betoken 
a  testament  written,  sealed  and  delivered  in  the  life 
time  of  the  testator  before  witnesse :  for  without  those 
ceremonies  a  bequest  of  landes  is  not  available.  But 
by  the  common  lawe  if  hee  that  dieth  hath  no  sonnes 
but  daughters,  the  lande  is  equally  divided  among  them, 
which  portion  is  made  by  agreement  or  by  lotte. 
Although  as  I  have  saide  ordinarily  and  by  the  com- 
mon lawe,  the  eldest  sonne  inheriteth  all  the  lands, 
yet  in  some  countries  all  the  sonnes  have  equall 
portion,  and  that  is  called  ganelkinde,  and  is  in  many 
places  in  Kent.     In  some  places  the  youngest  is  sole 

1  129 


heire :  and  in  some  places  after  an  other  fashion.  But 
these  being  but  particular  customes  of  certaine  places 
and  out  of  the  rule  of  the  common  law,  doe  litle 
appertain  to  the  disputation  of  the  policie  of  the  whole 
Realme,  and  may  be  infinite.  The  common  wealth  is 
judged  by  that  which  is  most  ordinarily  and  commonly 
doone  through  the  whole  Realme. 

Of  Bondage  and  Bondmen. 

Chap.  8. 

AFter  that  we  have  spoken  of  all  the  sortes  of  free 
•aV  men  according  to  the  diversitie  of  their  estates 
and  persons,  it  resteth  to  say  somewhat  of  bondmen 
which  were  called  servi,  which  kinde  of  people  and 
the  disposition  of  them  and  about  them  doth  occupie 
the  most  part  of  Justinians  Digestes,  and  Code.  The 
/"'Romans  had  two  kindes  of  bondmen,  the  one  which 
were  called  servi,  and  they  were  either  which  were 
bought  for  money,  taken  in  warre,  left  by  succession, 
or  purchased  by  other  kinde  and  lawefull  acquisition, 
or  else  borne  of  their  bonde  women  and  called  verna : 
all  those  kinde  of  bondmen  be  called  in  our  lawe 
villens  in  grosse,  as  ye  would  say  immediatly  bonde 
to  the  person  and  his  heires.  An  other  they  had  as 
appeareth  in  Justinians  time,  which  they  called  ad- 
scripticij  glebce  or  agri  censiti.  These  were  not  bond 
to  the  person,  but  to  the  mannor  or  place,  and  did 
followe  him  who  had  the  manors,  and  in  our  lawe 
are  called  villaines  regardants,  for  because  they  be  as 
members,  or  belonging  to  the  manor  or  place.  Neither 
of  the  one  sort  nor  of  the  other  have  we  any  number 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  3. 

in  England.  And  of  the  first  I  never  knewe  any  in 
the  realme  in  my  time :  of  the  seconde  so  fewe  there 
be,  that  it  is  not  almost  worth  the  speaking.  But 
our  lawe  doth  acknowledge  them  in  both  those  sortes. 
Manumission  of  all  kinde  of  villaines  or  bondmen  in 
Englande  is  used  and  done  after  diverse  sortes,  and 
by  other  and  more  light  and  easie  meanes  than  is 
prescribed  in  the  civil  lawe,  and  being  once  manu- 
mitted, he  is  not  libertus  manumittentis,  but  simply 
liber :  howbeit  sith  our  Realme  hath  received  the 
Christian  religion  which  maketh  us  all  in  Christ 
brethren,  and  in  respect  of  God  and  Christ  conserves, 
men  began  to  have  conscience  to  hold  in  captivitie 
and  such  extreme  bondage  him  whome  they  must 
acknowledge  to  be  his  brother,  and  as  we  use  to  terme 
him  Christian,  that  is  who  looketh  in  Christ  and  by 
Christ  to  have  equall  portion  with  them  in  the  Gospel 
and  salvation.  Upon  this  scruple,  in  continuance  of 
time,  and  by  long  successionythe  holie  fathers,  Munkes 
and  Friers  in  their  confession,  and  specially  in  their 
extreme  and  deadly  sicknesses,  burdened  the  con- 
sciences of  them  whom  they  had  under  their  handes : 
so  that  temporall  men  by  little  and  litle  by  reason  of 
that  terror  in  their  conscience,  were  glad  to  manumit 
all  their  villaines :  but  the  said  holie  fathers,  with  the 
Abbots  and  Priors,  did  not  in  like  sort  by  theirs,  for 
they  had  also  conscience  to  impoverish  and  dispoyle 
the  Churches  so  much  as  to  manumit  such  as  were 
bond  to  their  Churches,  or  to  the  mannors  which  the 
Church  had  gotten,  and  so  kept  theirs  still.  The  same 
did  the  Bishoppes  also  till  at  the  last  and  now  of  late 
some  Bishoppes  to  make  a  peece  of  money  manumitted 
theirs  partly  for  argent,  partly  for  slaunders,  that  they 
1  2  131 



seemed  more  cruell  than  the  temporaltie:  after  the 
monasteries  comming  into  temporall  mens  handes  have 
\beene  occasion  that  now  they  be  almost  all  manumitted. 
The  most  part  of  bondmen  when  they  were,  yet  were 
not  used  with  us  so  cruelly  nor  in  that  sort  as  the 
bondmen  at  the  Romane  civill  law,  as  appeareth  by 
their  Comedies,  nor  as  in  Greece  as  appeareth  by 
theirs:  but  they  were  suffered  to  enjoy  coppieholde 
lande  to  gaine  and  get  as  other  serves  that  nowe 
and  then  their  Lordes  might  fleese  them  and  take  a 
peece  of  money  of  them,  as  in  France  the  Lords 
doe  taile  them  whom  they  call  their  subjectes  at  their 
pleasure,  and  cause  them  to  pay  such  summes  of  money 
as  they  list  to  put  upon  them.  I  thinke  both  in 
France  and  England  the  chaunge  of  religion  to  a 
more  gentle,  humane  and  more  equall  sort  (as  the 
christian  religion  is  in  respectes  of  the  Gentiles)  caused 
this  olde  kinde  of  servile  servitude  and  slaverie  to  be 
brought  into  that  moderation,  for  necessitie  first  to 
villaines  regardants,  and  after  to  servitude  of  landes 
and  tenures,  and  by  litle  and  litle  finding  out  more 
civill  and  gentle  meanes  and  more  equall  to  have 
that  doone  which  in  time  of  heathenesse  servitude  or 
bondage  did,  they  almost  extinguished  the  whole.  For 
although  all  persons  christians  be  brethren  by  baptisme 
in  Jesu  Christ,  and  therefore  may  appeare  equally 
free :  yet  some  were  and  still  might  be  christianed 
being  bond  and  serve,  and  whom  as  the  baptisme  did 
find  so  it  did  leave  them,  for  it  chaungeth  not  civill 
lawes  nor  compactes  amongest  men  which  be  not 
contrarie  to  Gods  lawes,  but  rather  maintaineth  them 
by  obedience.  Which  seeing  men  of  good  conscience 
having  that  scruple  whereof  I  wrote  before,  have  by 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  3. 

litle  and  litle  found  meanes  to  have  and  obtaine  the 
profit  of  servitude  and  bondage  which  gentilitie  did 
use  and  is  used  to  this  day  amongest  Christians  on 
the  one  part,  and  Turkes  and  Gentiles  on  the  other 
part,  when  warre  is  betwixt  them  upon  those  whom 
they  take  in  battaile.  Turkes  and  Gentilles  I  call 
them,  which  using  not  our  lawe  the  one  beleeveth 
in  one  God,  the  other  in  many  gods,  of  whom  they 
make  Images.  For  the  lawe  of  Jewes  is  well  ynough 
knowen,  and  at  this  day  so  farre  as  I  can  learne, 
amongst  all  people  Jewes  be  holden  as  it  were  in  a 
common  servitude,  and  have  no  rule  nor  dominion  as 
their  own  prophesies  doe  tell  that  they  should  not  have, 
after  that  Christ  was  promised  to  them,  was  of  them 
refused  for  when  they  would  not  acknowledge  him 
obstinatly  forsaking  their  helpe  in  soule  for  the  life  to 
come  and  honour  in  this  worlde  for  the  time  present, 
not  taking  the  good  tidinges,  newes,  and  evangill  brought 
to  them  for  their  disobedience  by  the  great  grace  of 
God,  and  by  the  promise  of  the  Prophets  fructified  in 
us  which  be  Gentils  and  brought  forth  this  humanitie, 
gentlenes,  honour  and  godly  knowledge  which  is  seen 
at  this  present.     But  to  returne  to  the  purpose. 

This  perswasion  I  say  of  Christians  not  to  make 
nor  keepe  his  brother  in  Christ,  servile,  bond  and 
underling  for  ever  unto  him,  as  a  beast  rather  than  as 
a  man,  and  the  humanitie  which  the  Christian  religion 
doth  teache,  hath  engendered  through  Realmes  not 
neere  to  Turkes  and  Barbarians,  a  doubt,  a  conscience 
and  scruple  to  have  servants  and  bondmen :  yet  neces- 
sitie  on  both  sides,  of  the  one  to  have  helpe,  on  the 
other  to  have  service,  hath  kept  a  figure  or  fashion 
thereof.     So  that  some  would  not  have  bondmen,  but 



adscripticij  gleba,  and  villaines  regardant  to  the  ground, 
to  the  intent  their  service  might  be  furnished,  and  that 
the  countrie  being  evill,  unwholsome,  and  otherwise 
barren,  should  not  be  desolate.  Others  afterwardes 
found  out  the  wayes  and  meanes,  that  not  the  men 
but  the  land  should  be  bound  and  bring  with  it  such 
bondage  and  service  to  him  that  occupieth  it,  as  to 
carie  the  Lordes  dung  unto  the  fleldes,  to  plough  his 
ground  at  certaine  daies,  sowe,  reape,  come  to  his 
Court,  sweare  faith  unto  him,  and  in  the  ende  to  holde 
the  lande  but  by  copie  of  the  Lords  court  rolle,  and  at 
the  will  of  the  Lord.  This  tenure  is  called  also  in  our 
lawe,  villaine,  bonde,  or  servile  tenure :  yet  to  consider 
more  deepely  all  lande,  even  that  which  is  called  most 
free  lande,  hath  a  bondage  annexed  unto  it,  not  as 
naturally  the  lower  ground  must  suffer  and  receive  the 
water  and  filth  which  falleth  from  the  higher  ground, 
nor  such  as  Justinian  speaketh  of  de  servitudinibus 
prtediorum  rusticorum  iff  urbanorum,  but  the  lande  doeth 
bring  a  certaine  kinde  of  servitude  to  the  possessor. 
For  no  man  holdeth  land  simply  free  in  Englande,  but 
he  or  she  that  holdeth  the  Crowne  of  Englande :  all 
others  holde  their  land  in  fee,  that  is  upon  a  faith  or 
trust,  and  some  service  to  be  doone  to  another  Lorde 
of  a  Mannor,  as  his  superior,  and  he  againe  of  an 
higher  Lorde,  till  it  come  to  the  Prince  and  him  that 
holdeth  the  Crowne.  So  that  if  a  man  die,  and  it 
be  found  that  he  hath  land  which  he  holdeth,  but 
of  whom  no  man  can  tell,  this  is  understoode  to  be 
holden  of  the  Crowne,  and  in  capitie,  which  is  much 
like  to  knights  service,  and  draweth  unto  it  three 
services,  homage,  ward  and  mariage :  That  is,  he  shall 
sweare   to   be  his  man,  and  to  be  true  unto  him  of 


ANGLORUM     LIB.   3. 

whom  he  holdeth  the  lande.  His  sonne  who  holdeth 
the  land  after  the  death  of  his  father,  shall  be  maried 
where  it  pleaseth  the  Lorde.  He  that  holdeth  the 
lande  most  freely  of  a  temporall  man  (for  franke 
almose  and  franke  manage  hath  an  other  cause  and 
nature)  holdeth  by  fealtie  onely,  which  is,  he  shal 
sweare  to  be  true  to  the  Lorde,  and  doe  such  service 
as  appertaineth  for  the  land  which  he  holdeth  of  the 
Lord.  So  that  all  free  lande  in  Englande  is  holden  in 
fee  or  feodo,  which  is  asmuch  to  say  as  in  fide  or  fiducia  : 
That  is,  in  trust  and  confidence,  that  he  shall  be  true 
to  the  Lorde  of  whom  he  holdeth  it,  pay  such  rents, 
doe  such  service,  and  observe  such  conditions  as  was 
annexed  to  the  first  donation.  Thus  all  saving  the 
Prince  be  not  viri  domini,  but  rather  fiduciary  domini, 
and  possessores :  This  is  a  more  likely  interpretation  than 
that  which  Litleton  doeth  put  in  his  booke,  who  saith 
that  feodum  idem  est  quod  heereditas,  which  it  doeth 
betoken  in  no  language.  This  hapneth  many  times 
to  them  who  be  of  great  witte  and  learning,  yet  not 
seene  in  many  tongues,  or  marketh  not  the  deduction 
of  wordes  which  time  doth  alter.  Fides  in  Latine 
the  Gothes  comming  into  Italie,  and  corrupting  the 
language,  was  turned  first  into  fede,  and  at  this  day  in 
Italie  they  wil  say  in  fide,  en  fede  or  ala  fe.  And 
some  uncunning  Lawyers  that  would  make  a  newe 
barbarous  latine  worde  to  betoken  lande  given  in  fidem, 
or  as  the  Italian  saith  in  fede,  or  fe,  made  it  in  feudum 
or  feodum.  The  nature  of  the  worde  appeareth  more 
evident  in  those  which  we  call  to  fef,  feoff"  or  feoffees, 
the  one  be  fiduciary  possessores,  or  fidei  commissarij,  the 
other  is,  dare  in  fiduciam,  or  fidei  commissum,  or  more 
latinely,  fidei  committere.      The  same  Litleton   was  as 



much  deceived  in  withernam,  and  diverse  other  olde 
wordes.  This  withernam  he  interpreteth  vetitum 
navium,  in  what  language  I  knowe  not :  whereas  in 
trueth  it  is  in  plaine  Dutche  and  in  our  olde  Saxon 
language,  wytber  nempt^  alterum  accipere,  iterum  rapere, 
a  worde  that  betokeneth  that  which  in  barbarous 
Latine  is  called  represalia,  when  one  taking  of  me  a 
distresse,  which  in  Latine  is  called  pignus,  or  any  other 
thing,  and  carying  it  away  out  of  the  jurisdiction 
wherein  I  dwell,  I  take  by  order  of  him  that  hath 
jurisdiction,  an  other  of  him  againe  or  of  some  other 
of  that  jurisdiction,  and  doe  bring  it  into  the  juris- 
diction wherein  I  dwell,  that  by  equal  wrong  I  may 
come  to  have  equall  right.  The  manner  of  represalia, 
and  that  we  call  withernam,  is  not  altogether  one: 
But  the  nature  of  them  both  is  as  I  have  described, 
and  the  proper  signification  of  the  words  doe  not  much 
differ.  But  to  returne  thither  where  we  did  digresse: 
ye  see  that  where  the  persons  be  free,  and  the  bodies 
at  full  libertie  and  maxime  ingenuiy  yet  by  annexing  a 
condition  to  the  lande,  there  is  meanes  to  bring  the 
owners  and  possessors  thereof  into  a  certaine  servitude 
or  rather  libertinitie :  That  the  tenaunts  beside  paying 
the  rent  accustomed,  shal  owe  to  the  Lord  a  certaine 
faith,  duetie,  trust,  obedience,  and  (as  we  terme  it) 
certaine  service  as  libertus,  or  diem  patrono :  which 
because  it  doeth  not  consist  in  the  persons,  for  the 
respect  in  them  doeth  not  make  them  bond,  but  in 
the  lande  and  occupation  thereof,  it  is  more  properly 
expressed  in  calling  the  one  tenaunt,  the  other  Lord 
of  the  fee,  than  either  libertus  or  diem  can  doe  the  one, 
or  patronus  the  other :  for  these  wordes  touche  rather 
the  persons,  and  the  office  and  duetie  betweene  them, 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  3. 

than  the  possessions.  But  in  our  case  leaving  the 
possession  and  lande,  all  the  obligation  of  servitude 
and  service  is  gone. 

An  other  kinde  of  servitude  or  bondage  is  used  in 
Englande  for  the  necessitie  thereof,  which  is  called 
apprenticehoode.  But  this  is  onely  by  covenaunt,  and 
for  a  time,  and  during  the  time  it  is  vera  servitus.  For 
whatsoever  the  apprentice  getteth  of  his  owne  labour, 
or  of  his  masters  occupation  or  stocke,  he  getteth  to 
him  whose  apprentice  he  is,  he  must  not  lie  foorth  of 
his  masters  doores,  he  must  not  occupie  any  stocke  of 
his  owne,  nor  mary  without  his  masters  licence,  and 
he  must  doe  all  servile  offices  about  the  house,  and  be 
obedient  to  all  his  masters  commaundementes,  and 
shall  suffer  such  correction  as  his  master  shall  thinke 
meete,  and  is  at  his  masters  cloathing  and  nourishing, 
his  master  being  bounde  onely  to  this  which  I  have 
saide,  and  to  teach  him  his  occupation,  and  for  that 
he  serveth,  some  for  vij.  or  viij.  yeres,  some  ix.  or  x. 
yeres,  as  the  masters  and  the  friends  of  the  young 
man  shall  thinke  meete  or  can  agree :  altogether  (as 
Polidore  hath  noted)  quasi  pro  emptitio  servo :  neverthe- 
lesse  that  neither  was  the  cause  of  the  name  apprentice, 
neither  yet  doeth  the  worde  betoken  that  which  Polydore 
supposeth,  but  it  is  a  Frenche  worde,  and  betokeneth  a 
learner  or  scholer.  Apprendre  in  French  is  to  learne, 
and  apprentise  is  as  much  to  say  in  Frenche  (of  which 
tongue  we  borowed  this  worde  and  many  more  other) 
as  discipulus  in  Latine :  likewise  he  to  whom  he  is 
bound,  is  not  called  his  Lorde  but  his  master,  as  ye 
would  say  his  teacher.  And  the  pactions  agreed  upon, 
be  put  in  writing,  signed  and  sealed  by  the  parties,  and 
registred  for  more  assurance :  without  being  such  an 



apprentice  in  London,  and  serving  out  such  a  servitude 
in  the  same  Citie  for  the  number  of  yeeres  agreed 
upon,  by  order  of  the  Citie  amongest  them,  no  man 
being  never  so  much  borne  in  London,  and  of  parentes 
londoners  is  admitted  to  be  a  Citizen  or  free  man 
of  London :  the  like  is  used  in  other  great  Cities  of 
England.  Besides  apprentises,  others  be  hired  for 
wages,  and  be  called  servaunts  or  serving  men  and 
women  throughout  the  whole  Realme,  which  be  not 
in  such  bondage  as  apprentises,  but  serve  for  the  time 
for  daily  ministrie,  as  servi  and  ancilla  did  in  the  time 
of  gentilitie,  and  be  for  other  matters  in  libertie  as  full 
free  men  and  women. 

But  all  servaunts,  labourers  and  others  not  maryed, 
must  serve  by  the  yere :  and  if  he  be  in  covenaunt,  he 
may  not  depart  out  of  his  service  without  his  masters 
licence,  and  he  must  give  his  master  warning  that  he 
will  depart  one  quarter  of  a  yere  before  the  terme  of 
the  yere  expireth,  or  else  he  shalbe  compelled  to 
serve  out  an  other  yere.  And  if  any  young  man 
unmaried  be  without  service,  he  shalbe  compelled  to 
get  him  a  master  whom  he  must  serve  for  that  yere, 
or  else  he  shalbe  punished  with  stockes  and  whipping 
as  an  idle  vagabond.  And  if  any  man  maried  or 
unmaried,  not  having  rent  or  living  sufficient  to 
maintaine  himselfe,  doe  live  so  idely,  he  is  enquired 
of,  and  sometime  sent  to  the  gaole,  sometime  other- 
wise punished  as  a  sturdie  vagabond:  so  much  our 
policie  doth  abhorre  idlenesse.  This  is  one  of  the 
.  chiefe  charges  of  the  Justices  of  peace  in  everie  Shire. 
It  is  taken  for  ungentlenesse  and  dishonour,  and  a 
shewe  of  enmitie,  if  any  gentleman  doe  take  an  other 
gentlemans  servaunt  (although  his  master  hath  put 

ANGLORUM     LIB.   3. 

him  away)  without  some  certificate  from  his  master 
eyther  by  word  or  writing,  that  he  hath  discharged 
him  of  his  service.  That  which  is  spoken  of  men 
servaunts,  the  same  is  also  spoken  of  women  ser- 
vaunts.  So  that  all  youth  that  hath  not  sufficient 
revenues  to  maintaine  it  selfe,  must  needs  with  us 
serve,  and  that  after  an  order  as  I  have  written.  Thus 
necessitie  and  want  of  bondmen  hath  made  men  to 
use  free  men  as  bondmen  to  all  servile  services:  but 
yet  more  liberally  and  freely,  and  with  a  more  equalitie 
and  moderation,  than  in  time  of  gentilitie  slaves  and 
bondemen  were  woont  to  be  used,  as  I  have  saide 
before.  This  first  and  latter  fashion  of  temporall  servi- 
tude, and  upon  paction  is  used  in  such  countryes,  as 
have  left  off  the  old  accustomed  maner  of  servaunts, 
slaves,  bondemen  and  bondwomen,  which  was  in  use 
before  they  had  received  the  Christian  faith.  Some 
after  one  sort,  and  some  either  more  or  lesse  rigorouslie, 
according  as  the  nature  of  the  people  is  enclined,  or 
hath  devised  amongest  themselves  for  the  necessitie  of 

Of  the  Court  which  is  Spirituall  or  Ec- 

clesiasticall,  and  in  the  booke  of  Law,  Court 

Christian,  or  Curia  Christianitatis. 

Chap.  9. 

THe  Archbishops  and  Bishops  have  a  certaine 
peculiar  jurisdiction  unto  them  especially  in 
foure  maner  of  causes :  Testamentes  and  legations, 
Tythes  and  mortuaries,  mariage  and  adulterie  or 
fornication,  and  also  of  such  things  as  appertaine  to 




orders  amongest  themselves  and  matters  concerning 
\  religion.  For  as  it  doeth  appeare,  our  auncestors 
having  the  common  wealth  before  ordeined  and  set 
in  frame,  when  they  did  agree  to  receive  the  true  and 
Christian  religion,  that  which  was  established  before, 
and  concerned  externe  policie  (which  their  Apostles, 
Doctors  and  Preachers  did  allowe)  they  helde  and 
kept  still  with  that  which  they  brought  in  of  newe. 
And  those  things  in  keeping  whereof  they  made 
conscience,  they  committed  to  them  to  be  ordered  and 
governed  as  such  things,  as  of  which  they  had  no 
skill,  as  to  men  in  whom  for  the  holinesse  of  their 
life  and  good  conscience,  they  had  a  great  and  sure 
/  confidence.  So  those  matters  be  ordered  in  their 
Courts,  and  after  the  fashion  and  maner  of  the  lawe 
civil  or  rather  common  by  citation,  libel,  contestationem 
litis,  examination  of  witnesses  privilie,  by  exceptions, 
replications  apart  and  in  writing,  allegations,  matters 
by  sentences  given  in  writing,  by  appellations  from 
one  to  an  other  as  well  a  gravamine  as  a  sententia 
definitiua,  and  so  they  have  other  names,  as  Proctor, 
Advocates,  Assessors,  Ordinaries,  and  Commissaries, 
&c.  farre  from  the  manner  of  our  order  in  the  com- 
mon lawe  of  Englande,  and  from  that  fashion  which 
I  have  shewed  you  before.  Wherefore  if  I  say  the 
testament  is  false  and  forged,  I  must  sue  in  the 
spirituall  lawe,  so  also  if  I  demaunde  a  legacie :  but 
if  I  sue  the  executor  or  administrator  which  is  he  in 
our  lawe,  who  is  in  the  civill  lawe  hares  or  bonorum 
mobilium  possessor  ab  intestato)  for  a  debt  which  the 
x^dead  ought  me,  I  must  sue  in  the  temporall  court. 
These  two  courtes  the  temporall  and  the  spirituall  be 
so  divided,  that  who  so  ever  sueth  for  any  thing  to 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  3. 

Rome  or  in  any  spirituall  court  for  that  cause  or  action 
which  may  be  pleaded  in  the  temporall  court  of  the 
Realme,  by  an  olde  lawe  of  Englande  hee  falleth  into 
a  praemunire,  that  is  hee  forfetteth  all  his  goods  to  the 
Prince,  and  his  bodie  to  remaine  in  prison  during  the 
Princes  pleasure :  and  not  that  onely,  but  the  Judge, 
the  scribe,  the  procurer  and  assessor  which  receiveth 
and  doth  maintaine  that  usurped  pleading  doth  incur 
the  same  daunger.  Whether  the  word  praemunire 
doeth  betoken  that  the  authoritie  and  jurisdiction  of 
the  realme  is  provided  for  before,  and  defended  by 
that  lawe,  and  therefore  it  hath  that  name  praemunire 
or  pramuniri,  or  because  that  by  that  lawe  such  an 
attemture  hath  had  warning  given  before  to  him  of 
the  daunger  into  which  he  falleth  by  such  attempt, 
and  then  praemunire  is  barbarously  written  for  pr<e- 
monere,  prcemoneri,  (as  some  men  have  helde  opinion) 
I  will  not  define,  the  effect  is  as  I  have  declared : 
and  the  lawe  was  first  made  in  King  Richarde  the 
secondes  time,  and  is  the  remedie  which  is  used  when 
the  spirituall  jurisdiction  will  goe  about  to  encroch 
any  thing  upon  the  temporall  courts,  Because  this 
court  or  forme  which  is  called  curia  christianitatisy 
is  yet  taken  as  appeareth  for  an  externe  and  forren 
court,  and  difFerreth  from  the  policie  and  manner  of 
government  of  the  Realme,  and  is  an  other  court 
(as  appeareth  by  the  act  and  writ  of  praemunire)  than 
curia  regis  aut  regime:  Yet  at  this  present  this  court 
as  well  as  others  hath  her  force,  power,  authoritie, 
rule  and  jurisdiction,  from  the  royall  majestie  and  the 
crowne  of  England  and  from  no  other  forren  poten- 
tate or  power  under  God,  which  being  granted  (as 
indeede  it  is  true)  it  may  nowe  appeare  by  some  reason 



that  the  first  statute  of  praemunire  whereof  I  have 
spoken,  hath  nowe  no  place  in  Englande,  seeing  there 
is  no  pleading  alibi  quam  in  curia  regis  ac  regime. 

I  have  declared  summarily  as  it  were  in  a  chart  or 
mappe,  or  as  Aristotle  termeth  it  o!>9  ev  tvttw  the  forme 
and  manner  of  the  governement  of  Englande,  and  the 
policie  thereof,  and  sette  before  your  eies  the  prin- 
cipall  pointes  wherein  it  doth  differ  from  the  policie 
or  government  at  this  time  used  in  Fraunce,  Italie, 
Spaine,  Germanie  and  all  other  countries,  which  doe 
followe  the  civill  lawe  of  the  Romanes  compiled  by 
Justinian  into  his  pandects  and  code :  not  in  that  sort 
as  Plato  made  his  common  wealth,  or  Zenophon  his 
kingdome  of  Persia,  nor  as  Syr  Thomas  More  his  Utopia 
being  feigned  common  wealths,  such  as  never  was 
nor  never  shall  be,  vaine  imaginations,  phantasies  of 
Philosophers  to  occupie  the  time  and  to  exercise  their 
wittes:  but  so  as  Englande  standeth  and  is  governed 
at  this  day  the  xxviij  of  March  Anno  1565,  in  the  vij 
yeare  of  the  raigne  and  administration  thereof  by  the 
most  vertuous  and  noble  Queene  Elizabeth,  daughter 
to  King  Henrie  the  eight,  and  in  the  one  and  fifteeth 
yeere  of  mine  age,  when  I  was  ambassador  for  her 
majestie  in  the  court  of  Fraunce,  the  scepter  whereof 
at  that  time  the  noble  Prince  and  of  great  hope  Charles 
Maximilian  did  holde,  having  then  raigned  iiij  yeares. 
So  that  whether  I  writ  true  or  not,  it  is  easie  to  be 
seene  with  eies  (as  a  man  would  say)  and  felt  with 
handes.  Wherfore  this  being  as  a  project  or  table 
of  a  common  wealth  truely  laide  before  you,  not 
fained  by  putting  a  case :  let  us  compare  it  with  com- 
mon wealthes,  which  be  at  this  day  in  esse,  or  doe 
remaine  discribed  in  true  histories,  especially  in  such 

ANGLORUM     LIB.  3. 

pointes  wherein  the  one  differeth  from  the  other,  to 
see    who    hath    taken    the    righter,    truer,   and    more 
commodious   way    to   governe   the   people    aswell    in 
warre  as  in  peace.      This  will  be  no  illiberall  occu- 
pation for  him  that  is  a  Philosopher  and  hath  a 
delight  in  disputing,  nor  unprofitable  for  him 
who  hath  to  doe  and  hath  good  will  to 
serve  the  Prince  and  the  common 
wealth  in  giving  counsell  for 
the  better  administration 

Thomas  Smyth. 



The  first  edition  of  the  De  Republica  appeared  in  1583. 
It  was  printed  by  Henry  Middleton  for  Gregory  Seton.  The 
second  followed  in  the  next  year.  It  is  nearly,  though  not 
quite,  identical  with  the  earlier,  the  differences,  except  in  the 
marginalia  (see  Introd.  pp.  xliii — xlv),  being  almost  exclusively 
mere  variants  in  spelling.  Even  these  variations  are  to  some 
extent  explainable  when  we  notice  that  in  the  later  edition  the 
compositor  has  made  freer  use  than  his  predecessor  of  certain 
composite  double-O's  and  double-E's,  and  that  this  has  led  him 
to  "full  out"  his  lines  with  occasional  unnecessary  mute  E's. 
Thus  an  earlier  "stretes...stretes"  has  become  in  1584  "streets 
. .  .streetes." 

The  third  edition  comes  in  1589.  The  Latin  title  is 
now  for  the  first  time  Englished.  The  title-page  runs  as 
follows.  "The  Common- Welth  of  England,  and  Maner  of 
Government  thereof.  Compiled  by  the  honorable  Sir  Thomas 
Smith,  Knight,  Doctor  of  both  lawes,  and  one  of  the  principall 
Secretaries  unto  two  most  worthie  Princes,  King  Edward 
and  Queen  Elizabeth:  with  new  additions  of  the  cheefe 
Courts  in  England,  the  offices  thereof,  and  their  severall 
functions,  by  the  sayd  Author:  Never  before  published.  At 
London.  Imprinted  by  John  Windet  for  Gregorie  Seton,  and 
are  to  be  solde  at  his  shoppe  under  Aldersgate.      1589." 

The  title-page  of  the  fourth  is  similar  (though  "Common- 
Wealth"  has  advanced  a  step  nearer  its  modern  spelling). 


"At   London.     Printed  by  Valentine    Simmes,  for    Gregorie 
Seton,  and  are  to  be  solde   at  his  shoppe   under  Aldersgate. 


These  two  editions  omit  the  table  of  contents  and  make 
some  slight  alterations  in  the  marginalia ;  e.g.  the  sharp  rebuke 
at  the  end  of  the  note  to  III.  8. — "Litleton  seene  in  the 
tongues  as  Sir  Thomas  Smith  was  in  Litleton  " — is  dropped. 
The  "new  additions,"  which  are  common  to  these  and  the 
later  editions  are  discussed  presently  and  are  printed  in  this 

The  fifth  edition  replaces  "Never  before  published,"  and 
the  following  lines,  by  the  words — "Also  a  Table  added  thereto, 
of  all  the  principall  matters  contained  in  this  Treatise.  At 
London.  Printed  by  James  Roberts,  for  Gregorie  Seton,  and 
are  to  be  sold  at  his  shoppe  under  Aldersgate.  Anno  Dom. 
1 60 1."  The  sixth  "newly  corrected  and  amended"  is  also 
issued  at  London.  "Printed  for  John  Smethwicke,  and  are  to 
be  sold  at  his  shop  in  S.  Dunstanes  Church-yard,  under  the 
Diall.      1609." 

Then  comes  the  first  Latin  version.  Haddon,  the  reader 
will  remember,  had  urged  Smith  to  bring  out  the  book  in 
Latin  for  the  benefit  of  foreign  readers;  and  Strype  twice 
declares  that  it  was  written  both  in  Latin  and  in  English. 
This  however  is  almost  certainly  an  error,  due  to  Strype's 
having  come  across  some  one  of  the  Latin  versions  and 
imagining  it  to  be  Smith's  own.  In  these  the  additional  matter 
of  1589  and  later  editions  is  translated,  but  not  the  marginal 
notes,  the  preface,  or  the  table  of  contents.  The  title-page 
reads  as  follows.  "De  Republica  et  Administratione  Anglorum 
Libri  tres  :  Olim  Thomae  Smithi,  Jureconsulti,  Equitis  Aurati, 
Divae  quin  etiam  Elizabethae  Reginae  ab  epistolis  et  sancti- 
orib.  consiliis  opera  confecti :  Nunc  primum  Joannis  Buddeni, 
Legum  Doctoris,  fide  optima  diligentiaque  de  sermone  Angli- 

K  145 


cano  in  Latinum  conversi.  Pro  officina  Nortoniana.  Lon- 
dini."  There  is  no  date.  The  British  Museum  catalogue 
gives,  with  a  query  mark,  1610. 

The  British  Museum  also  contains  three  Latin  editions 
issued  at  Leyden — Elzevirs — 1625,  1630  and  1641.  That 
of  1630  is  dedicated  "Nobilissimo,  amplissimo,  clarissimo  viro, 
D.  Thomae  Glenhamo"  by  "Joannes  de  Laet,  Antwerpianus." 
The  Latin  of  these  is  a  mere  reproduction,  without  acknow- 
ledgment, of  Budden's1  translation. 

The  Cambridge  University  Library  contains  a  copy  from  the 
seventh  edition,  of  which  there  is  no  representative  at  the 
British  Museum.  "Printed  by  William  Stansby  for  John 
Smethwicke,  and  are  to  bee  sold  at  his  shop  in  S.  Dunstanes 
Church-yard  under  the  Dyall.  1612."  This  edition  omits 
all  but  a  few  of  the  marginal  notes. 

The  eighth,  ninth,  and  tenth  English  editions,  1621,  1633, 
and  1635,  are  also  printed  by  W.  Stansby  for  J.  Smethwicke, 
London;  the  eleventh,  1640,  by  R.  Young  for  J.  Smethwicke. 

A  Dutch  translation  of  the  three  important  chapters  at  the 
beginning  of  the  second  book  was  published,  apparently  without 
any  prefatory  matter,  in  1673,  at  Amsterdam — Het  Parlement 
van  Engelandt,  met  het  Sitten,  en  de  Macht  van  het  Se/vige. 
The  date  is  noteworthy.  It  falls  within  the  period  of  the 
aggressive  war  of  1672 — 4  which  resulted  from  the  secret 
treaty  of  Dover  between  Charles  and  Louis  (the  United 
Provinces  were  to  be  conquered  and  divided  between  the  two 
conquerors,  and  Roman  Catholicism  to  be  supported  by  French 
aid  in  England).  This  war  Hallam  describes  as  being  "so 
repugnant  to  English  interests,  so  unwarranted  by  any  provo- 
cation, so  infamously  piratical  in  its  commencement,  so  ominous 
of  further  schemes  still  more  dark  and  dangerous"  that  it 
"  finally  opened  the  eyes  of  all  men  of  integrity."     "  It  was 

1  Budden  was  professor  of  civil  law  at  Oxford  (see  Diet.  Nat.  Biog.). 


accompanied  by  the  shutting  up  of  the  exchequer,  an  avowed 
bankruptcy  at  the  moment  of  beginning  an  expensive  war,  and 
by  the  declaration  of  indulgence,  or  suspension  of  all  penal  laws 
in  religion,  an  assertion  of  prerogative  which  seemed  without 
limit.  These  exorbitances  were  the  more  scandalous,  that  they 
happened  during  a  very  long  prorogation.  Hence  the  court  so 
lost  the  confidence  of  the  house  of  commons,  that  with  all  the 
lavish  corruption  of  the  following  period,  it  could  never  regain 
a  secure  majority  on  any  important  question."  The  Dutch 
had  good  reason  therefore  to  desire  first-hand  information  as  to 
the  relative  powers  of  king  and  parliament,  and  we  are  not 
surprised  to  note  that  other  Dutch  editions  of  these  chapters 
followed  before  the  end  of  the  century. 

A  German  edition  of  the  same  portion  of  the  work  ap- 
peared at  Hamburg  in  1688  —  Eigentliche  Beschreibung  des 
Parlaments  von  Engelland,  JVie  es  nehmlich  j/rzf,  und  was  tr  vor 
Gewalt  hat — to  which  is  appended  some  account  of  the  doings 
in  England  in  that  momentous  year.  The  interest,  in  this 
case,  was  probably  more  academic  in  origin  than  that  felt  in 

Next  we  turn  to  consider  the  "new  additions"  to  which 
reference  has  been  made1.  All,  except  one,  of  these  are  of 
one  kind.  They  are  brief  descriptions  of  what  we  should 
call  the  "staffs  "  of  the  various  courts.  Thus  in  the  Chancer)' 
are  the  Chancellor,  the  Master  of  the  Rolls,  Six  Masters  of  the 
Chancery,  the  Six  Clerks,  the  Clerk  of  the  Hamper,  the  Clerks 
of  the  Petty  Bag  and  so  forth,  and  about  the  duties  of  each  of 
these  officers  a  sentence  is  written.  Mention  in  the  text  of 
the  Parliament,  the  Chancery,  King's  Bench,  Common  Pleas, 
Exchequer,  Star  Chamber  and  Court  of  Wards  serves  to  intro- 
duce additions  of  this  character,  and  accounts  of  two  courts 

1  The  remainder  of  this  appendix   has  been  supplied  by  Professor 

K  2 



which  the  text  had  not  mentioned,  namely,  the  Court  of  the 
Duchy  of  Lancaster  and  the  Court  of  Requests,  are  inserted. 
The  great  bulk  of  the  matter  thus  imported  will  probably  be 
described  by  almost  all  modern  readers  as  highly  technical 
and  extremely  uninteresting,  though  a  few  sentences  that 
are  of  some  value  appear  sporadically.  One  of  these,  which 
occurs  in  the  account  of  the  Parliament,  attracts  our  eye  for 
more  than  one  reason.  The  book  in  its  pristine  form  tells 
how  the  Commons  choose  a  Speaker,  how  they  present  him  to 
the  Prince,  how  the  elect  "maketh  his  excuse  of  unabilitie," 
and  how  the  Chancellor  in  the  Prince's  name  thanks  the 
Commons  for  choosing  so  wise,  discreet  and  eloquent  a  man. 
In  the  enlarged  book  we  turn  back  a  page  or  two  and  see  to 
our  surprise  that  the  Speaker  "is  commonly  appointed  by  the 
King  or  Queen,  though  accepted  by  the  assent  of  the  House." 
We  will  not  take  upon  us  to  say  that  in  this  statement  there 
is  no  grain  of  truth,  though  we  believe  that  it  went  far  beyond 
the  facts,  and,  to  say  the  least,  should  not  have  been  made  by 
any  one  who  did  not  explain  that  he  was  disregarding  forms 
and  ceremonies.  Does  it  really  come  from  Sir  Thomas 
Smith,  from  a  man  who  nowhere  else  shows  any  tendency  to 
belittle  the  independence  of  Parliament,  from  a  man  who  him- 
self describes  the  election  of  a  Speaker  without  hinting  that 
the  Prince  has  a  word  to  say  about  the  matter,  or  does  it  come 
from  someone  who  is  more  familiar  with  the  courts  of  law 
than  with  Parliament? 

The  addition  to  the  account  of  the  Star  Chamber  contains 
another  characteristic  passage.  It  is  remarked  that  the  offences 
of  which  cognizance  is  taken  by  that  court  are  chiefly  of 
statutory  origin.  And  then  we  are  told  to  "see"  4  and  5  Phil, 
and  Mar.  cap.  8,  and  six  other  statutes — the  latest  is  5  Eliz. 
cap.  7 — which  are  expressly  cited,  "and  all  the  titles  of  Riots  in 
Rastals  Abridgement."  The  like  of  this  we  nowhere  find  in 


the  original  book.  Smith  mentions  a  statute  now  and  again, 
such  as  Richard  II. 's  Act  of  Praemunire  and  Henry  VIII. 's  Act 
condemning  poisoners  to  be  boiled,  but  he  never  mentions 
year  and  chapter.  Bookless  in  France  he  could  not  do  it,  and 
he  did  it  not  after  his  return.  Was  he  at  pains  then  to  make 
these  seven  citations  about  one  particular  matter? 

Also  it  is  to  be  observed  that  whereas  Sir  Thomas  writes 
pleasantly  and  diffusely,  the  style  of  these  additions  is  as  curt 
and  bald  as  style  can  be.  The  augmenter  of  the  book  gives  us 
technical  jargon  without  a  word  of  explanation.  Sir  Thomas 
goes  to  the  other  extreme  and  can  hardly  use  a  legal  term, 
however  common,  without  apology  and  periphrasis.  Let  us 
contrast  two  sentences.  "The  three  Clarks  of  the  Pettie  bag 
are  they  that  receive  the  offices  that  are  found  in  the  Court  of 
Wards."  That  is  one  style.  "And  if  for  anie  disobedience  of 
not  comming  and  appearing  there  be  a  fine  (which  the  latins 
do  call  Mulctd)  set  upon  any  jurors  head,  the  sheriffe  is 
charged  with  it,  and  taketh  the  distresses  which  in  latin  be 
called  Pignora,  and  answereth  therefore  to  the  exchequer." 
That  is  another  style.  It  is  a  little  hard  to  believe  that  one 
and  the  same  author  in  one  and  the  same  book  glosses  such 
familiar  terms  as  fines  and  distresses  and  yet  leaves  without 
comment  such  a  piece  of  lawyers'  slang  as  "offices  that  are 
found  in  the  Court  of  Wards."  To  have  told  us  what  "the 
Latins"  would  have  called  an  "office"  of  the  sort  that  could 
be  "found"  might  have  been  really  instructive1. 

We  have  said  that  one  addition  differs  in  character  from  all 
the  rest.  It  is  the  first,  and  we  may  regard  it  as  an  excuse 
for  the  others.  It  forms  a  chapter  interpolated  at  the  begin- 
ning of  the  Second  Book.     In  the  First  we  have  been  intro- 

1  The  term  is  an  instance  of  tight  compression.  An  office  found  is  the 
verdict  of  an  inquest  taken  ex  officio  (Angl.  of  office)  by  a  royal  officer  for 
the  ascertainment  of  the  king's  rights. 



duced  to  the  various  classes  of  Englishmen.  We  are  going  to 
read  of  what  we  should  call  their  institutions  and  first  of  the 
Parliament.  Without  any  display  of  juristic  or  philosophic 
method  but  with  no  small  literary  skill  Sir  Thomas  will  then 
show  us  the  other  courts  of  the  realm.  But  a  chapter  is  here 
interpolated  of  a  most  methodical  or  methodological  kind. 
It  proclaims  a  method  and  endeavours  to  impose  it  upon  the 
residue  of  the  book.  Let  us  look  at  it.  It  is  entitled  "The 
division  and  definition  of  the  Laws  of  the  Realm  in  General." 
Substituting  some  numerals  for  some  brackets,  we  may  say  that 
it  begins  thus: — "The  laws  of  England  consist  in  two  points, 
(i)  Judgment,  and  (2)  Practice.  In  Judgment  are  considered 
(1)  Persons,  (2)  Place,  (3)  Matter,  and  (4)  Manner.  The 
persons  in  Judgment  are  (1)  Judges  in  the  Courts,  (2)  Sergeants 
and  (3)  Counsellors.  In  Practice  are  considered  (1)  Persons, 
and  (2)  their  office.  The  persons  are  (1)  Protonotaries,  (2) 
Solicitors  and  (3)  Attorneys."  Then  after  a  few  words  about 
the  duties  of  Protonotaries,  Solicitors  and  Attorneys,  we  read 
this: — "The  places  for  Judgment  are  the  Courts  where 
sentence  is  given  and  the  laws  made:  as  the  Parliament, 
Chancery,  King's  Bench,  the  Common  Pleas,  the  Ex- 
chequer, the  Court  of  Wards,  the  Star  Chamber,  the  Court 
of  Requests,  and  the  Duchy  Court  of  Lancaster.  The  Matter 
of  the  Law  is  (1)  Justice  and  (2)  Equity.  The  Manner  of 
their  several  proceedings  followeth."  There  the  interpolated 
chapter  ends,  and  then  the  unquestionable  Sir  Thomas  begins 
his  classical  account  of  the  Parliament. 

Here  indeed  is  a  display  of  method.  We  might  be  reading 
some  notes  of  an  introductory  lecture.  And  a  curious  method 
it  is.  The  laws,  we  are  told,  consist  in  two  points:  (1)  Judg- 
ment, and  (2)  Practice.  In  other  words,  for  the  context  shows 
that  this  is  meant,  the  laws  consist  in  judicial  proceedings  in 
which  judges,  sergeants  and  counsellors  take  part,  and  pre- 


liminary  proceedings  which  are  in  the  hands  of  protonotaries, 
attorneys  and  the  like.  If  we  regard  this  as  political  theory  or 
jurisprudence,  it  is  very  poor  stuff;  but  if  we  regard  it  as  an 
apology  for  what  the  interpolator  is  going  to  do,  it  is  to  the 
point.  Whenever  Smith  mentions  a  court,  a  passage  is  to  be 
introduced  which  will  speak  of  the  staff  of  that  court  from  the 
judges  down  to  the  attorneys,  who  it  will  be  remembered,  are 
officers  of  the  court.  The  little  army  of  cursitors,  filacers, 
clerks  of  the  warrants  and  clerks  of  the  essoins,  clerks  of  the 
hamper  and  clerks  of  the  petty  bag  is  to  pass  in  review,  though 
we  shall  not  be  much  the  wiser  when  we  have  read  the  brief 
sentences  that  tell  us  of  their  duties.  That  is  why  the  laws  of 
England  consist  in  (i)  Judgment  and  (2)  Practice. 

We  can  imagine  a  demand  for  information  of  this  sort. 
In  the  days  before  newspapers  and  blue  books  and  official 
almanacs  it  went  some  way  towards  satisfying  a  reasonable 
curiosity  concerning  public  officers  and  their  doings.  It  seemed 
to  lift  one  corner  of  a  curtain  behind  which  were  mysteries. 
We  can  imagine  someone  thinking  that  Smith's  work  would  be 
much  improved  by  the  insertion  of  such  useful  knowledge.  We 
can  imagine  some  clerk  of  the  warrants  or  clerk  of  the  essoins, 
some  clerk  of  the  hamper  or  clerk  of  the  petty  bag,  thinking 
that  the  secretary  of  state  had  unduly  neglected  "Practice" 
and  the  important  functionaries  who  are  concerned  therein. 
What  we  cannot  easily  imagine  is  that  Sir  Thomas  wrote  this 
methodical  but  jejune  chapter  and  thereby  lowered  the  tone 
of  his  whole  treatise. 

On  the  whole  therefore  we  feel  bound  to  say  that  in  our 
judgment  the  "  new  additions  of  the  cheefe  Courts  in  England, 
the  officers  thereof,  and  their  severall  functions  "  are  not,  as  the 
title-page  declares,  "by  the  sayd  author."  Apparently  they 
were  composed  some  few  years  before  they  were  published  in  the 
edition  of  1589.     They  suppose  that  the  writs  issuing  from  the 



Courts  of  King's  Bench  and  Common  Pleas  are  tested  re- 
spectively by  Christopher  Wray  and  James  Dyer.  This  shows 
that,  as  they  now  stand,  they  could  not  have  been  written 
before  November  1574  when  Wray  became  chief  justice;  and 
we  should  infer  that  they  were  written  before  May  1582  when 
Dyer  was  succeeded  by  Anderson.  The  copy  of  them  which 
is  now  to  be  printed  was  made  from  one  of  the  seventeenth 
century  editions,  but  except  as  regards  spelling  and  punctuation, 
it  reproduces  the  text  of  1589,  with  which  it  has  been  collated. 

Chap.  i. 

The  division  and  definition  of  the  Lawes  of  this  Realme 
in  general!. 



The  Lawes  of  England  consist 
in  two  points, 

In  Judgment  are  considered 

The  persons  in  judgment 
are  the 


Matter,  and 
„  Manner. 

(  Judges  in  their  Courts 
\  Sergeants  and 
I  Counsellours. 

their  Office. 
Sollicitors,  and 



Their  office  is  to  prepare  the  matter,  and  to  make  it  ready 
for  the  Judges  to  determine. 

The  Protonotaries  are  the  Clerks  in  the  Court,  which  doe 
record  the  matters  hanging  in  judgement,  and  do  frame  the 
pleading,  enter  the  Rules  and  Orders  of  the  Court,  the  Ver- 
dicts and  Judgements  given  in  the  same. 

Sollicitors  are  such  as  being  learned  in  the  Lawes,  and 
informed  of  their  Masters  Cause,  doe  informe  and  instruct  the 
Counsellors  in  the  same. 

Attornies  are  such  as  by  experience  have  learned  and  do 
know  the  orders  and  manner  of  proceeding  in  every  Court 
where  they  serve,  and  doe  purchase  out  Writs  and  Processe 
belonging  to  their  Clients  Cause  :  They  see  to  his  Suits,  that 
he  be  not  hindred  by  negligence :  They  pay  fees  belonging  to 
the  Courts  and  prepare  the  Cause  for  judgement. 

The  places  for  judgement  are  the  Courts  where  sentence  is 
given  and  the  Lawes  made :  as  the  Parliament,  Chancery, 
Kings  Bench,  the  Common  Pleas,  the  Exchequer,  the  Court  of 
Wards,  the  Starre  Chamber,  the  Court  of  Requests,  and  the 
Dutchie   Court  of  Lancaster. 

The  manner  of  their  severall  proceedings  followeth. 

[At  the  end  of  Book  I.  chapter  I .] 

The  Judges  in  Parliament  are,  the  King  or  Queens  Majestie; 
the  Lords  Temporall  and  Spirituall ;  the  Commons,  represented 
by  the  Knights  and  Burgesses  of  every  Shire  and  Borough 
Towne.  These  all,  or  the  greater  part  of  them,  and  that  with 
the  consent  of  the  Prince  for  the  time  being,  must  agree  to 
the  making  of  Lawes. 



The  Officers  in  Parliament  are,  the  Speakers,  two  Clarices, 
the  one  for  the  Higher  House,  the  other  for  the  Lower;  and 

The  Speaker  is  he  that  doth  commend  and  preferre  the 
Bils  exhibited  into  the  Parliament,  and  is  the  Mouth  of  the 
Parliament.  Hee  is  commonly  appointed  by  the  King  or 
Queerie,  though  accepted  by  the  assent  of  the  House. 

The  Clarks  are  the  keepers  of  the  Parliament  Rolls  and 
Records  and  of  the  Statutes  made,  and  have  the  custodie  of 
the  private  Statutes  not  printed. 

The  Committees  are  such  as  either  the  Lords  in  the  higher 
House  or  Burgesses  in  the  Lower  House,  doe  choose  to  frame 
the  Lawes  upon  such  Bils  as  are  agreed  upon,  and  after- 
ward to  bee  ratified  by  the  sayde  Houses. 

\At  the  end  of  Book  II.  chapter  1 1 .] 

Out  of  this  Court,  as  from  the  person  of  the  Prince  come 
all  manner  of  originall  Writs.  The  declaration  of  writs  is  at 
large  set  downe  in  the  register  of  writs,  and  in  the  Natura 
Brevium:  Out  of  this  Court  come  most  commonly  Commis- 
sions, Patents,  Licences,  Inquisitions  etc. 

The  Judges  of  this  Court  are  the  Lord  Chancellour  of 
England,  Assistants,  the  Masters  of  the  Rols,  and  six  Masters  of 
the  Chancery,  which  are  commonly  Doctors  of  the  Civil  Law. 

Officers  are  the  sixe  Clarks  of  the  Chancery,  the  Clark  of 
the  Crowne  generall,  the  Register,  Controler  of  the  Seale,  two 
examiners,  the  dark  of  the  Hamper,  the  three  clarks  of  the 
Petty  bag,  the  Cursiters,  the  Sergeant  of  the  Mace. 

The  Lord  Chancelor  is  the  keeper  of  the  greate  Seale,  and 
hath  it  carried  with  him  wheresoever  he  goeth. 

The  Master  of  the  Rols  is  the  keeper  of  the  Records, 
Judgments  and  Sentences  given  in  the  Court  of  Chancerie. 



The  six  Masters  are  assistants  to  the  Court,  to  shew  what  is 
the  equity  of  the  civill  Law,  and  what  is  conscience. 

The  Clarke  of  the  Crowne  is  the  chiefe  Guardian  of  all  the 
matters  of  the  Crowne :  what  are  Crowne  matters,  and  Pleas  of 
the  Crowne,  ^ee  in  the  learned  Booke  of  Stanford,  called  the 
Pleas  of  the  Crowne. 

The  six  Clarks  are  the  Atturnies,  as  well  for  the  Plaintiffe, 
as  Defendant,  in  every  suite  in  this  court. 

The  Register  is  the  engrosser  and  keeper  of  the  de- 
crees, publications,  orders  and  injunctions  issuing  out  of  this 

The  two  examiners  are  such  as  take  the  examination  of  the 
witnesses  brought  to  prove  or  reprove  any  thing  in  suite  in  this 
Court,  and  to  put  their  depositions  and  answers  made  to  their 
interrogatories  in  writing. 

The  Controler  of  the  Seale  is  to  see  and  allow  of  all  the 
Writs  made  in  this  court. 

The  Clarke  of  the  Hamper  is  hee  that  doth  receive  the  fines 
due  for  every  Writ  sealed  in  this  court. 

The  three  Clarks  of  the  Pettie  bag,  are  they  that  receive 
the  Offices  that  are  found  in  the  Court  of  Wards. 

The  Cursiters  are  Clarks  appointed  to  their  severall  shires 
which  do  write  original  Writs  that  belong  to  this  court  or  the 
common  place. 

The  Sergeant  carrieth  the  Mace  before  the  Lord  Chancellor, 
and  is  to  call  any  man  before  him  at  his  commandement. 

The  Processe  in  the  Chancerie  is  a  Subpoena,  which  is  but 
to  call  the  partie  before  him  upon  a  paine,  as  upon  paine  of 
lx.  li.  etc.  And  this  is  the  way  used  to  bring  in  the  party,  or 
else  by  the  Sergeant  as  before. 

The  punishment  is,  if  the  party  will  not  come  in,  or  comming 
in  will  not  obey  the  order  of  the  court,  imprisonment  during 
the  pleasure  of  the  Lord  Chancellour. 



The  order  of  proceeding  is  by  Injunctions,  Decrees,  and 
orders  which  are  to  bind  the  partie,  and  if  he  resist,  his  punish- 
ment is  imprisonment. 

The  matter  in  this  Court  are  all  causes  wherein  equity  and 
extremitie  of  Law  doe  strive  and  where  the  rigour  of  Lawes 
have  no  remedy,  but  conscience  and  the  moderation  of  Summum 
jus  hath  sufficient. 

And  here  it  is  to  be  noted,  that  conscience  is  so  regarded  in 
this  Court,  that  the  Lawes  are  not  neglected,  but  they  must 
both  joyne  and  meet  in  a  third,  that  is,  in  a  moderation  of 
\  extremity. 

This  court  is  called  of  some  Officina  Juris  Civilis  Anglorum, 
because  out  of  this  court  issue  all  maner  of  Processe  which  give 
the  partie  his  cause  of  action  in  other  courts. 

[Two  chapters  following  Book  II.  chapter  1 1  and 
headed  13  and  14.] 

Chap.   13. 

Of  the  Kings  Bench. 

The  Kings  Bench  is  the  Kings  Court,  so  called  because 
usually  the  Kings  have  sitten  there,  and  also  because  that 
therein  all  are  causes  handled  which  appertaine  to  the  Crowne: 
and  such  causes  as  wherein  the  King  or  Queene  is  a  party,  if 
they  properly  appertaine  not  to  some  other  Court. 
/*  The  Judges  of  the  Kings  Bench  are  the  Lord  chiefe 
Justice  of  England,  with  other  his  companions  assistant  in 
giving  judgement. 

The  Sergeants  and  Counsellors  doe  debate  the  cause. 

The  sentence  is  given  by  the  chiefe  Justice,  the  others  all  or 
the  most  part  assenting,  as  it  shall  appeare  to  be  in  other  courts 
likewise.  If  they  cannot  agree,  then  is  the  matter  referred  to  a 


demurre  in  the  Exchequer  chamber  before  all  the  Justices  of 
both  the  Benches,  viz.  the  Kings  Bench  and  the  Common 
Pleas,  and  the  Lord  Chiefe  Baron  of  the  Exchequer. 

The  Officers  in  the  Kings  Bench  are  the  chiefe  Protonothary, 
the  Secondary,  the  Clarke  of  the  Crowne,  the  Clarke  of  the 
Exigents,  the  Clarke  of  the  Papers,  the  Custos  Brevium  and 
Custos  Sigilli. 

The  Protonothary  is  he,  that  recordeth  all  Judgements, 
Orders  and  Rules  in  this  Court,  and  all  Verdicts  given,  being 
not  of  Crowne  matters. 

The  Secondary  is  the  Protonotharies  Deputie,  for  the  said 
causes,  and  he  is  the  keeper  and  maker  up  of  these  Records  in 

The  Clarke  of  the  Crowne  is  to  frame  all  Indictments  of 
Felony,  Treason,  Murther  etc.  all  manner  of  Appeales,  and 
after  to  record  them  and  enter  the  Verdict,  and  to  make  and 
keepe  the  Records  touching  these  matters. 

The  Clark  of  the  Exigents  is  to  frame  all  manner  of 
Processes  of  Exigi  facias,  which  doe  issue  out  of  that  Court 
to  out-law  any  man,  and  to  record  the  out-lawry. 

The  Clarke  of  the  Papers  is  hee  that  keepeth  all  Rols, 
Scripts,  and  pleadings,  and  other  things  in  writing  which  are 
not  of  Record. 

The  Custos  Brevium  is  he  which  fileth  all  the  Writs 
Judiciall  and  Originall,  after  the  Sheriffe  hath  returned  them : 
he  is  chargeable  if  any  be  embeselled  or  privily  conveyed  away 
from  the  file. 

The  Custos  Sigilli  is  he,  that  doth  keep  the  Seale,  and 
seeketh  \corr.  sealeth]  all  judiciall  Writs,  and  all  Patents,  Licences 
issuing  out  of  this  Court,  and  taketh  the  fee  due  for  them,  and 
thereof  is  to  make  his  account. 

There  are  certayne  Atturnies  belonging  to  this  Court  in 
number  as  the    Protonothorie   shall    appoynt :    those   are    for 



Plaintiffes  and  defendants  in  every  cause,  and  they  frame  and 
make  the  pleadings. 

The  manner  of  proceeding  in  this  Court  is  by  Latitat,  Arest, 
and  Bill. 

The  Latitat  is  to  bring  the  party  in  when  he  is  not  to  be 
found,  or  will  not  appeare  and  answere. 

Arrest  is  when  the  party  is  arrested,  and  then  is  driven  to 
finde  baile,  viz.  two  sufficient  sureties  or  more  as  the  case  shall 

By  Bill  the  suite  is  when  the  party  is  in  Custodia  Mareschaliy 
and  is  from  thence  brought  to  answer. 

The  Matters  in  this  Court  are  properly  all  matters  of  the 
Crowne,  whereof  see  Stanfords  booke  aforesaide. 

In  these  they  proceede  by  Inditements,  verdict,  appeale. 
Improperly  all  suites  wherein  the  King  is  a  party,  or  may  have 
any  losse.  Such  are  Conspiracies,  Champarties,  Imbrasier, 
Maintenance,  Decies  tantum,  maymes,  Slanders,  actions  sur  le 
cas:    of  these  see  Natura  brevium. 

Chap.  15. 

Of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas. 

The  court  of  Common  Pleas  is  the  Kings  court,  wherein 
are  holden  all  common  pleas  betweene  Subject  and  Subject  of 
all  matters  of  common  Law :  so  called,  for  that  it  serveth  for 
the  exact  and  precise  administration  of  the  common  Law. 

The  Judges  in  this  court  are,  Lord  chiefe  Justice  of  the 
common  Pleas,  three  other  his  Associats :  The  Sergeants  at  the 
Law  whose  number  is  sometimes  more,  sometimes  lesse,  at 
the  pleasure  of  the  Prince.  These  all  are  sworne  to  serve  the 
turne  of  the  common  Law  at  this  Barre. 


Two  of  them  are  alwayes  appointed  to  serve  the  Princes 
turne  in  what  Court  soever,  and  are  called  the  Queenes 

The  Officers  of  this  Court  are  the  Custos  Brevium,  three 
Protonotharies,  the  Clarke  of  the  Warrants,  the  Clarke  of  the 
Essoynes,  divers  Atturnies,  Fillisers  for  every  Shire,  Exigenters 
for  everie  shire,  the  Clarke  of  the  Juries,  the  Chirographer  for 
fines,  the  Clark  of  the  Queenes  silver  for  errours  in  this  Court 
committed,  the  Clark  of  the  Seale,  as  before  for  the  Kings 

The  Custos  Brevium  is  the  chiefe  Clark  in  the  Court,  and 
hee  hath  the  custody  of  all  the  Writs  whatsoever  returnable 
into  this  Court,  come  they  in  at  the  day  of  the  returne,  or  after 
the  day,  which  is  called  post  diem. 

The  Protonotharies  are  they  which  after  the  parties  have 
appeared  in  court,  do  enter  the  matter  in  suite,  and  make  the 
pleadings,  and  enter  them. 

The  Fillisers  are  they  which  make  up  all  meane  processe 
upon  the  originall  Writs,  and  the  same  Writs  returned  by  the 
Sheriffe,  are  by  the  Atturnies  delivered  to  the  Custos  Brevium 
to  file  or  string,  there  to  remaine  of  Record. 

The  Exigenters  are  such  as  make  out  the  Exigents  and 
Writs  of  Proclamation  into  every  county,  where  the  parties  are, 
that  upon  the  measne  Processe  or  Summons  will  not  appeare. 

The  Clarke  of  the  Warrants  is  he  which  doth  take  the 
Warrants  of  an  Atturney,  which  shall  prosecute  for  the 
Plaintiffe  or  Defendant :  and  is  he  that  enrolleth  all  deeds 
acknowledged  before  the  Justices  of  the  same  court. 

The  Clarke  of  the  Essoynes,  is  he  which  doth  Essoyne 
the  Defendants  in  every  Action,  before  the  day  of  his  appear- 

An  Essoyne  is  an  ordinary  delay  by  Office  of  court  in 
action :  and  the  Officer  before  whom  the  Clarke  is  to  take  these 



Essoynes,  is  the  punie  Justice  in  the  Common  Pleas,  who  for 
that  purpose  sitteth  three  days  before  the  Terme. 

The  common  Atturnies  are  such  as  are  allowed  in  this 
court,  by  the  Lord  chiefe  Justice  of  the  common  Pleas  and 
his  Assistance  to  prosecute  or  defend  according  to  the  instruc- 
tions of  their  clients  for  the  Plaintiffe  or  Defendant. 

The  Clark  of  the  Juries  is  he  that  doth  make  the  Venire 
Facias,  to  the  Sheriffe  to  warne  the  Juries  by. 
y  The  Chirographer  is  he  that  hath  the  Writ  of  covenant 
with  the  concord  brought  unto  him,  and  he  maketh  Indentures 
tripartite,  wherof  two  are  delivered  to  the  party  for  whose  use 
the  fine  is  acknowledged,  and  the  third  part  is  reserved  with 
him.  And  all  the  Proclamations  of  the  same  fine  according  to 
the  Statutes  made,  are  endorsed  on  the  third  part  remayning, 
and  it  is  commonly  called  the  foot  of  the  fine. 

The  Clarke  of  the  Queenes  silver  is  a  distinct  Office  of  the 
fines,  and  is  he  who  setteth  downe  the  money  that  his  Majesty 
is  to  have  for  the  fine,  according  to  the  yeerely  value  of  the 
Land  confessed,  knowne,  deposed  or  agreed  upon. 

All  Errours  in  this  court  committed,  are  reformed  in  the 
Kings  Bench,  before  the  Lord  chiefe  Justice,  and  other  Justices 
there  assistant  by  Writ  of  Errour. 

There  is  also  the  Clarke  of  the  Out-lawries,  who  is  the 
Kings  Atturney  Generall,  and  he  entreth  the  Out-lawry  for 
the  Queene,  after  the  Exigent  delivered :  and  he  maketh  all  the 
Writs  of  Out-lawry :  and  none  are  to  be  made  but  by  him. 

The  matters  of  the  common  Pleas  are  all  sutes  of  common 
Law  commenced  by  any  Writ  originall,  reall  or  personal. 

Reall  are  such  as  touch  the  inheritance,  or  fee  of  any  man. 

Personall  are  such  as  touch  transitory  things,  as  goods, 
chattels,  personall  wrongs  etc. 

The  difference  between  a  Writ  Originall,  and  a  Writ 
Judiciall,  is  this:  the  original  saith  in  the  end  of  it  (in  the 
1 60 


person  of  the  King  or  Queen)  teste  meipso,  or  teste  meipsa  apud 
Westmonasterium.  The  Judiciall  Writ  saith  in  the  end,  Teste 
Cbristophoro  IVray,  or  Teste  yacobo  Dyer,  or  such  other  as  shal 
be  the  Lord  chiefe  Justice  of  either  of  those  Benches. 

The  order  of  processes  how  they  follow  the  one  after  the 
other.  In  this  court  is  first  a-  Summoneas  in  some  Action,  then 
an  Attachias,  but  in  most  a  Capias,  then  a  Capias  pluries,  then 
Exigi  facias,  and  a  Proclamation  into  the  county  where  the 
Defendant  dwelleth. 

The  Summoneas  is  the  originall,  and  goeth  out  of  the 
Chancery,  and  is  directed  to  the  Sheriffe  to  bring  the  party 
by  a  day. 

The  Sheriffes  order  in  serving  this  Writ,  is  to  goe  himselfe, 
or  his  Bayliffe,  to  the  Land,  and  there  to  garnish  the  party,  by 
sticking  up  a  stick  on  his  Land,  which  done,  the  Sheriffe 
returneth  two  common  pledges,  Johannes  Do,  and  Richardus 
Ro,  and  two  Summonees  [corr.  Summoners],  Richardus  Deny 
Henricus  Fen.  After  the  Summonees  [corr.  summons],  if  the 
party  come  not  in,  issueth  out  an  Attachias  in  nature  of  a 
precept,  to  authorize  the  Sheriffe  to  go  to  his  Land  or  House 
and  there  to  take  a  pledge  for  his  appearance. 

But  if  the  party  Plaintiffe  meane  to  out-law  the  Defendant, 
he  getteth  a  Summoneas  out  of  the  Chancery  to  the  Sheriffe  to 
warne  the  party,  who  returneth  nihil  habet  etc.  Then  the 
Plaintiffe  getteth  a  Capias  to  take  his  body,  then  an  Alias 
Capias,  then  a  Pluries  Capias,  to  all  which  the  Sheriffe 
returneth  in  order  as  they  bee  given  out,  non  est  inventus', 
after  which  if  the  Party  appear  not,  goeth  out  to  the  Sheriffe 
the  Exigi  facias,  and  a  Proclamation  to  proclaime  the  party  in 
five  severall  County  dayes  :  after  which  Proclamations,  if  he  do 
not  appeare,  he  is  returned  Quinto  exactus  et  non  comparuit  et  ideo 
utlagatus,  unlesse  hee  doe  first  purchase  a  Supersedeas,  to  the 
court  to  surcease.     The  Supersedeas  is  granted  at  the  suite  of 

l  161 


the  plaintife  [corr.  defendant]  to  stay  the  Out-lawrie,  and  is  an 
appearance  to  the  suite  for  the  Defendant,  suggesting  to  the 
court,  that  his  Exigent  improvide  emanavit  shewing  that  the 
Defendant  was  alwayes  ready  to  appeare  by  his  Atturney. 
This  done,  the  Plaintiffe  declareth,  the  Defendant  answereth, 
if  the  answer  be  issuable  they  proceed  to  tryall. 

The  manner  of  proceeding  is  either  to  joyne  issue,  and  so  to 
passe  to  Verdict,  or  else  to  Demurre.  The  tryall  is  by  Verdict, 
when  the  question  is  made  de  facto,  as  where  the  matter  was 
done,  when,  by  whom  etc. 

[In  Book  II.  chapter  14.      The  words  in  square  brackets 
belong  to  the  first  editions  also.'] 

/  [In  English  we  call  them  Barons  of  the  Exchequer,  whereof 
is  one  who  is  called  the  chiefe  Baron,  as  Tribunus  or  jfuridicus 
rationalis  primus,  or  princeps\  with  others  to  them  assistant:  the 
Chanceller  of  the  Exchequer,  two  Chamberlaines,  and  Atturney 
^general,  y  [The  chiefe  of  al  is  called  high  Treasurer  of  England, 
as  you  would  say  in  Latine,  Supremus  aerarij  anglici  quaestor  or 
Tribunus  aerarius  maximus.~] 

Hee  hath  the  charge  and  keeping  of  the  King  or  Queenes 
treasure,  and  many  Officers  are  at  his  sole  appointment,  and  to 
him  accountant,  as  well  in  the  Tower,  Exchequer,  as  elsewhere  ; 
as  Auditors  in  the  Mint,  Auditors  and  Tellers  in  the  Exchequer, 
Receivers  etc. 

The  Chancellour  is  the  under  treasurer,  and  is  governour  of 
the  court,  under  the  high  treasurer.  Many  Officers  also  are  at 
his  appointment. 

The  chiefe  Baron  is  the  Judge  in  Law-causes,  incident  to 
this  court,  the  three  other  Barons  are  assistants. 

The  Atturney  is  the  Atturney  generall,  to  defend  the 
Queenes  right,  and  to  peruse  all  grants,  particulars,  suits  and 


causes  handled  in  this  court.  There  are  common  Atturneyes 
besides,  which  serve  for  the  suiters  of  this  court. 

The  other  Officers  are  two  Remembrancers,  two  Clarices  of 
the  Pipe,  two  of  the  first  fruits  and  tenthes. 

The  Remembrancers  are  those  which  keepe  all  the  Records 
of  the  Exchequer  betweene  the  Queene  and  her  subjects  and 
enter  the  rules  and  orders  there  made,  the  one  is  for  the  Prince, 
the  other  is  for  the  Lord  treasurer. 

The  Clarices  of  the  Pipe  are  those  that  make  leases  upon 
particulars,  and  receive  the  Sheriffes  accounts;  those  receive 
also  the  bonds  and  titles  of  other  assurances. 

In  the  Office  of  the  first  fruits,  are  received  all  first  fruits 
due  to  her  Majesty  by  Bishops,  Deanes,  and  all  Ecclesiasticall 
Persons,  answerable  by  order  of  the  Law. 

Other  officers  are  tellers,  Auditors,  Collectors,  Rent- 
gatherers,  taile-makers  etc. 

The  matters  of  this  court  are  all  penal  punishment,  as 
intrusions,  alienations  without  licence,  penall  forfaitures  upon 
popular  actions  (a  popular  action  is  while  the  one  part  is  given 
to  the  informer;  the  rest  to  the  Prince).  Of  these  see  the 
whole  body  of  Statutes  at  large  or  in  Rastalls  collection. 

In  this  court  are  handled  all  paiments,  accounts,  expences  of 
the  Queenes  revenues. 

The  usuall  Processe  of  this  Court  is  a  Sub  poena  out  of  this 
court,  or  a  messenger  to  call  the  party.  S 

[At  the  end  of  Book  III.  chapter  4.] 

The  Judges  of  this  Court  are  the  Lord  Chancellor,  the 
Lord  Treasurer,  all  the  Queenes  Majesties  Councel,  the  Barons 
of  this  Land. 

The  Officers  therein  are  a  Clark,  three  Atturnies,  an 

L  2  163 


The  Clarke  keepeth  the  records,  rules,  entries,  orders  and 
decrees  made  in  this  Court. 

The  three  Attumies  are  for  the  plaintiffe  and  for  the 
defendant  to  frame  their  complaints,  and  answeres,  and  make 
the  matter  apt  to  be  heard  for  the  Lords. 

The  Examiner  taketh  the  depositions  of  the  witnesses  of 
both  sides,  to  the  proofe  or  disproofe  of  the  cause. 

The  order  of  proceeding  to  judgement  is  by  assent  of  voices, 
and  open  yeelding  of  their  mind  in  Court,  the  major  part  being 
preferred  for  sentence. 

The  punishment  most  usuall,  is  imprisonment,  pillory,  a 
fine,  and  many  times  both  fine  and  imprisonment. 

The  processe  is  a  Sub  poena,  an  attachment,  a  proclamation 
of  rebellion,  and  a  commission  of  rebellion, 

This  Sub  poena  is  in  manner  of  a  libell  or  precept. 

The  Proclamation  and  commission  of  rebellion  serve  when 
the  party  is  stubborne,  having  made  contempt,  and  commeth 
not  in  by  the  former  processe. 

The  Messengers  of  this  Court  are  the  Warden  of  the  Fleet : 
or  the  Sergeants  at  Armes. 

The  matters  belonging  most  commonly  are  by  statutes,  as 
is  taking  away  of  maids  within  age  against  their  parents  or 
guardians  will.  See  Anno  4^5  Phil.  &  Maria  cap.  8.  All 
notable  forgeries,  counterfeiting  letters  or  privie  tokens.  See 
Hen.  8.  Anno  33,  cap.  1.  An.  5.  Eliz,  cap.  I  J.  Slandering  of 
Nobles,  and  seditious  newes.  See  R.  2.  Anno  2.  cap.  5.  Anno 
I.  &  2.  Phil.  &  Maria,  cap.  2.  Anno  2.  3.  Eliz.  cap.  7.  All 
notable  riots  and  unlawfull  Assemblies.  See  Anno  1.  Eliz. 
cap.  17.  And  all  the  titles  of  Riots  in  Rastah  Abridgement, 
all  notable  deceits,  and  all  kinde  of  cousenage,  &c. 



[At  the  end  of  Book  III.  chapter  5.] 

The  Judge  in  this  Court  is  the  Maister  of  the  Wardes. 

Officers  are  the  Attourney  of  the  Wardes  for  the  Queene. 

The  Surveyor,  the  Auditor,  the  Treasurer,  the  Clark,  two 
common  Atturnies,  inferiour  officers,  also  Messengers,  and 

The  Attourney  for  the  Wardes  is  alwayes  for  the  Queenes 
right,  and  assistant  with  the  Maister  of  the  Wards. 

The  Surveyor  is  he  that  hath  the  alowing  of  every  Liverie 
that  is  sued  out. 

The  Auditor  taketh  the  account,  and  causeth  proces  to  be 

The  Treasurer  receaveth  the  mony  due  to  her  Majestic 

The  Clark  is  writer  of  the  Records,  and  writer  of  the 
decrees,  processes,  and  orders  of  the  Court. 

The  matters  of  this  Court  are  all  benefits  that  may  come 
unto  her  Majestie,  by  guard,  by  marriage,  preuveer,  season  [corr. 
primer  seisin],  and  releefe. 

The  generall  processe  in  this  Court  is  a  commission,  a 
processe  in  manner  of  a  proclamation,  warning  the  party  or 
parties  to  appeare  before  the  maister  of  the  wards.  More 
speciall  processe  belonging  to  this  Court,  are  a  Diem  clausit 
extremum,  a  Devenerunt,  a  melius  inquirendum,  a  Datum  est  nobis 
intelligi,  a  Quae  plura.  Of  the  nature  of  these,  see  Stanfords 
booke  of  the  Kings  prerogative. 

Out  of  this  Court  are  the  Liveries  sued,  and  committed  to 
the  Clarks  of  the  Petty  bagge,  officers  in  the  Chauncerie. 

When  the  heire  hath  prooved  his  age,  and  sued  his  Liverie, 
then  he  must  doe  homage  to  [blank  in  text]  that  is  the  Deputy 
of  the  Prince  for  that  purpose,  and  then  must  pay  a  fine  or  fee 
to  the  Lord  privy  Seale. 



[Two  chapters  following  on  Book  III.  chapter  5.] 

The  Dutchie  Court. 

Chap.  6. 

The  Duchie  Court  of  Lancaster  is  also  the  Queenes  Court 
of  Record.  In  it  are  holden  all  pleas  real  and  personall,  which 
concerne  any  of  the  Dutchie  Lands,  now  in  her  Majesties 
hands  and  parcell  of  her  crowne :  but  severed  in  Court  and 

The  Judge  in  this  Court  is  the  Chancelour  assisted  by  the 
Attourney  of  the  Dutchie  for  the  Queene,  the  Clarke  of  the 
Court,  divers  Surveyors,  two  common  Attourneies,  divers 
Auditors,  two  assistants,  the  Sergeant  of  her  Majestic 

The  Chauncelour  is  a  Judge  of  the  Court,  to  see  justice 
administred  betweene  her  Majestie  and  her  Subjects  and 
betweene  party  and  party. 

The  Attourney  is  to  maintaine  the  Queenes  right,  and 
is  assistant  to  the  Chauncelour,  and  sheweth  him  what  the 
law  is. 

The  Clarke  keepeth  the  Roles  and  Records,  and  maketh 
the  Processe. 

The  Surveiors  are  divers,  one  more  principal :  they  survey 
the  Queenes  lands  within  the  Dutchy. 

The  Auditors  are  divers :  one  more  principall,  they  are  to 
account  and  make  the  order  of  the  receits  within  the  Dutchie. 

The  common  Attourneies  are  for  the  suitors  that  have  cause 
in  action  within  the  Court. 

The  Assistants  are  two  Judges  at  the  Common  law  that  are 
to  aid  them  in  difficult  points  of  the  law. 

The  Sergeant  for  the  Queene,  is  a  learned  Counsailor, 
appointed  to  be  of  her  Majesties  Counsell  for  her  right. 

There  is  also  belonging  to  this  Court  a  Vice-chancelour, 


that  serveth  for  the  County  Palatine  of  Lancaster,  he  maketh 
all  originall  processes  within  his  libertie,  as  doth  the  Lord 
Chauncelour  of  England  for  the  Chauncerie. 

The  Processe  of  the  County  Palatine,  is  a  Sub  poena,  as  in 
the  Chauncerie. 

The  Court  of  Requests. 
Chap.  7. 

This  Court  is  the  Court  wherein  all  sutes  made  to  her 
Majestie  by  way  of  supplication  or  petition  are  heard  and  ended, 
neither  shoulde  it  holde  plea  of  any  other  matters  then  such. 
And  this  is  called  the  poore  mans  Court,  because  there  hee 
should  have  right  without  paying  any  money :  and  it  is  called 
also  the  Court  of  conscience. 

The  Judges  in  this  Court  are  the  Maisters  of  Requests,  one 
for  the  common  lawes,  the  other  for  the  civill  lawes. 

The  Officers  in  this  court,  are  the  Register,  the  Examinor, 
three  Atturneis,  one  messenger  or  Pursuivant. 

The  Examinor  is  he  that  apposeth  the  witnesses  by  oath,  and 
recordeth  their  depositions. 

The  Atturneis  serve  for  the  plaintife  and  defendant  to  frame 
their  complaints  and  aunswers. 

The  Pursuivant  is  an  officer  in  this  court,  to  bring  any  man 
before  the  Judges  whom  they  shall  name. 

The  matters  in  this  Court  at  this  day,  are  almost  all  sutes 
that  by  colour  of  equitie  or  supplication  made  to  the  Prince, 
may  be  brought  before  them :  properly  all  poore  mens  sutes, 
which  are  made  to  her  Majestie  by  supplication. 

The  Processes  in  this  Court,  are  a  privie  seale,  proclamation 
of  rebellion. 

The  nature  of  these  Processes  is,  as  was  said  before  in  the 
Court  of  Starre-chamber. 



/  The  following  extracts  from  Harrison's  Description  of 
England,  Book  n.  chapter  5,  are  taken  from  the  first  edition  of 
N  Holinshed's  Chronicles,  1577.  Readers  who  are  interested  in 
the  mutual  "  borro wages "  of  the  two  writers  will  find 
Dr  Furnivall's  excellent  edition  of  Harrison's  work  especially 
convenient.  The  earlier  and  the  later  readings  of  Harrison  are 
there  given  in  combination. 

"  We  in  England  divide  our  people  commonlie  into  foure 
sorts,  as  gentlemen,  citizens  or  burgesses,  yeomen,  and  artificers 
or  laborers.  Of  gentlemen  the  first  and  cheefe  (next  the  king) 
be  the  prince,  dukes,  marquesses,  earls,  viscounts  and  barons  : 
and  these  are  called  the  Nobilitie,  they  are  also  named  Lordes 
and  noble  men,  and  next  to  them  be  Knights  and  Esquiers,  and 
simple  gentlemen.     [Cf.  Smith  1.  16  ad  fin.] 

The  title  of  prince  dooth  particulate  belong  to  the  kings 
eldest  sonne,  who  is  called  prince  of  Wales,  and  is  the  heire 
apparent  to  the  crowne;  as  in  France  the  kings  eldest  sonne 
hath  the  title  of  Dolphine,  and  is  named  peculiarlie  Monsieur. 
[Cf.  Smith  1.  18.] 

Dukes,  marquesses,  earles,  visconts  and  barons,  either  be 
created  of  the  prince,  or  come  to  that  honor  by  being  the  eldest 
sonnes  or  highest  in  succession  to  their  parents.  For  the  eldest 
sonne  of  a  duke  during  his  fathers  life  is  an  erle,  the  eldest  sonne 
of  an  erle  is  a  baron  or  sometimes  a  viscont,  according  as  the 


creation  is.  The  creation  I  call  the  original  donation  and 
condition  of  the  honour  given  by  the  prince  for  the  good 
service  doone  by  the  first  ancestor,  with  some  advancement, 
which,  with  the  title  of  that  honour,  is  alwaies  given  to  him 
and  his  heires  males  onelie.  The  rest  of  the  sonnes  of  the 
nobilitie  by  the  rigor  of  the  law  be  but  esquiers :  yet  in  common 
speech  all  dukes  and  marquesses  sonnes,  and  earles  eldest  sonnes 
be  called  lords,  the  which  name  commonlie  dooth  agree  to 
none  of  lower  degree  than  barons,  yet  by  law  and  use  these  be 
not  esteemed  barons.      [Cf.  Smith  I.  17.] 

The  baronie  or  degree  of  lords  dooth  answer  to  the  degree 
of  senators  of  Rome  and  the  title  of  nobilitie  (as  we  use  to  call 
it  in  England)  to  the  Romane  Patrkij.  Also  in  England  no 
man  is  created  baron,  except  he  maie  dispend  of  yearelie 
revenues  so  much  as  maie  fullie  mainteine  and  beare  out  his 
countenance  and  port.  But  visconts,  erles,  marquesses,  and 
dukes  exceed  them  according  to  the  proportion  of  their  degree 
and  honour.  But  though  by  chance  he  or  his  sonne  have  lesse, 
yet  he  keepeth  this  degree  :  but  if  the  decaie  be  excessive  and 
not  able  to  mainteine  the  honour,  as  Senatores  Romani  were 
moti  senatu :  so  sometimes  they  are  not  admitted  to  the  upper 
house  in  the  parlement  although  they  keepe  the  name  of  lord 
still,  which  can  not  be  taken  from  them  upon  anie  such 
occasion.     [Cf.  Smith  1.   17.] 

Knights  be  not  borne,  neither  is  anie  man  a  knight  by 
succession,  no,  not  the  king  or  prince:  but  they  are  made 
either  before  the  battell,  to  incourage  them  the  more  to  adven- 
ture and  trie  their  manhood:  or  after  as  an  advancement  for 
their  courage  and  prowesse  alreadie  shewed.  They  are  made 
either  by  the  king  himselfe,  or  by  his  commission  and  roiall 
authoritie  given  for  the  same  purpose :  or  by  his  lieutenant  in 
the  warres.     This  order  seemeth   to  answer   in   part   to   that 



which  the  Romans  called  Equitum  Romanorum.  For  as  Equites 
Romani  were  chosen  Ex  censuy  that  is  according  to  their  sub- 
stance and  riches ;  so  be  the  knights  in  England  most  commonlie 
according  to  their  yearelie  revenues  or  substance  and  riches, 
wherewith  to  mainteine  the  estates.  Yet  all  that  had  Equestrem 
censurri)  were  not  chosen  to  be  knights,  no  more  be  all  made 
knights  in  England  that  may  spend  a  knights  lands,  but  they 
onelie  whome  the  prince  will  honour.  The  number  of  the 
knights  in  Rome  was  uncerteine :  and  so  it  is  of  knights  with 
us,  as  at  the  pleasure  of  the  prince.  We  call  him  knight  in 
English  that  the  French  calleth  Chevalier,  and  the  Latins 
Equitem,  or  Equestris  ordinis  virum.  And  when  any  man  is 
made  a  knight,  he  kneeling  downe  is  striken  of  the  Prince  or 
his  substitute  with  his  sword  naked  upon  the  shoulder,  the 
prince  etc:  saieing,  Soyes  chevalier  au  nom  de  Dieu.  And  when 
he  riseth  up  the  Prince  saith  Advances  bon  chevalier.  This  is 
the  maner  of  dubbing  knights  at  this  present,  and  the  tearme 
(dubbing)  is  the  old  tearme  for  that  purpose  and  not  creation. 

At  the  coronation  of  a  king  or  queene,  there  be  knights 
made  with  longer  and  more  curious  ceremonies,  called  "  Knights 
of  the  bath."  But  how  soever  one  be  dubbed  or  made 
knight,  his  wife  is  by  and  by  called  madame  or  ladie,  so  well 
as  the  barons  wife  ;  he  himselfe  having  added  to  his  name  in 
common  appellation  this  syllable  Sir,  which  is  the  title  whereby 
we  call  our  knights  here  in  England. 

The  other  order  of  knighthood  in  England,  and  the  most 
honorable  is  that  of  the  garter,  instituted  by  king  Edward  the 
third,  who — after  he  had  gained  manie  notable  victories,  taken 
king  John  of  France,  and  king  James  of  Scotland  (and  kept 
them  both  prisoners  in  the  Tower  of  London  at  one  time) 
expelled  king  Henrie  of  Castile  the  bastard  out  of  his  realme, 
and  restored  Don  Petro  unto  it  (by  the  helpe  of  the  prince  of 
Wales  and  duke  of  Aquitaine  his  eldest  sonne  called  the  Blacke 


prince)  he — then  invented  this  societie  of  honour,  and  made  a 
choise  out  of  his  owne  realme  and  dominions,  and  throughout 
all  christendome  of  the  best,  most  excellent  and  renowmed 
persons  in  all  vertues  and  honour,  and  adorned  them  with  yt 
to  be  knights  of  his  order,  giving  them  a  garter  garnished  with 
gold  and  pretious  stones,  to  weare  dailie  on  the  left  leg  onlie  : 
also  a  kirtle,  gowne,  cloke,  chaperon,  collar,  and  other  solemne 
and  magnificent  apparell,  both  of  stuffe  and  fashion  exquisite 
and  heroicall  to  weare  at  high  feasts  as  to  so  high  and  princelie 
an  order  apperteineth.  Of  this  companie  also  he  and  his 
successors,  kings  and  queenes  of  England,  be  the  souereignes, 
and  the  rest  by  certeine  statutes  and  lawes  amongst  themselues 
be  taken  as  brethren  and  fellowes  in  that  order,  to  the  number 
of  six  and  twentie,  as  I  find  in  a  certeine  treatise  written  of 
the  same,  an  example  whereof  I  have  here  inserted  word  for 
word,  as  it  was  delivered  unto  me,  beginning  after  this  maner. 
[Cf.  Smith  i.  18.] 

Esquire  (which  we  call  commonlie  squire)  is  a  French 
word,  and  so  much  in  Latine  as  Scutiger  vel  armiger,  and  such 
are  all  those  which  beare  armes,  or  armoires,  testimonies  of 
their  race  from  whence  they  be  descended.  They  were  at  first 
costerels  or  the  bearers  of  the  armes  of  barons,  or  knights,  & 
thereby  being  instructed  in  armes,  had  that  name  for  a  dignitie 
given  to  distinguish  them  from  common  souldiers  when  they 
were  togither  in  the  field.     [Cf.  Smith  i.  19.] 

Gentlemen  be  those  whome  their  race  and  bloud  doth 
make  noble  and  knowne.  The  Latines  call  them  Nobiles  & 
generosos,  as  the  French  do  Nobles.  The  etymologie  of  the 
name  expoundeth  the  efficacie  of  the  word:  for  as  Gens  in 
Latine  betokeneth  the  race  and  surname :  so  the  Romans  had 
Cornelias,  Sergios,  Fabios,  Aetnilios,  Julios,  Brutos  &c:  of  which, 
who  were  Agnati,  and  therefore  kept  the  name,  were  also 
called    Gentiles,  gentlemen    of  that    or    that    house    and    race. 



As  the  King  or  Queene  doth  dubbe  knights,  and  createth  the 
Barons  and  higher  degrees,  so  gentlemen  whose  ancestours  are 
not  knowen  to  come  in  with  William  Duke  of  Normandie,  do 
take  their  beginning  in  England,  after  this  maner  in  our  tymes. 
*  Whosoeuer  studieth  the  lawes  of  the  realme,  who  so  studieth  in 
the  Universitie  or  professeth  Physicke  and  the  liberall  Sciences, 
or  beside  his  service  in  the  rowme  of  a  capitaine  in  the  warres, 
can  live  ydlely  and  without  manuell  labour,  and  therto  is  able 
and  will  beare  the  port,  charge  and  countenaunce  of  a  gentle- 
man, he  shall  be  called  Master  (which  is  the  title  that  men 
give  to  Esquires  and  Gentlemenne)  and  reputed  for  a  Gentleman,/ 
which  is  so  much  the  lesse  to  be  disalowed,  as  for  that  the  Prince 
doth  lose  nothing  by  it,  the  gentleman  being  so  much  subject  to 
taxes  and  publicke  payments  as  is  the  Yeoman  or  husbandman, 
which  he  also  doth  beare  the  gladlyer  for  the  saving  of  his 
reputation.  Being  called  to  the  warres  what  soever  it  cost 
him,  he  will  both  arraie  &  arme  himselfe  accordinglie,  and 
shew  the  more  manly  courage,  and  all  the  tokens  of  the  person 
which  he  representeth.  No  man  hath  hurt  by  it  but  him- 
selfe, who  peradventure  will  now  and  then  beare  a  bigger 
saile  than  his  boat  is  able  to  susteine.  [Cf.  Smith  I.  20,  and 
1.  21.] 

Citizens  and  burgesses  have  next  place  to  gentlemen,  who 
be  those  that  are  free  within  the  cities,  and  are  of  some  sub- 
stance to  beare  office  in  the  same.  But  these  citizens  or 
burgesses  are  to  serve  the  commonwealth  in  their  cities  and 
boroughs,  or  in  corporat  townes  where  they  dwell.  And  in 
the  common  assemblie  of  the  realme  to  make  lawes  called  the 
parlement  the  ancient  cities  appoint  foure,  and  the  boroughs 
two  burgesses  to  have  voices  in  it,  and  to  give  their  consent 
or  dissent  unto  such  things  as  passe  or  staie  there  in  the 
name  of  the  citie  or   borow,  for  which   they  are  appointed. 

[Cf.  Smith  1.  22.]    



Our  Yeomen  are  those  which  by  our  lawyers  are  calledV 
Legales  homines^  free  men  borne  English,  and  may  dispend  of 
their  owne  free  land  in  yearlie  revenue,  to  the  summe  of 
fortie  shillings  sterling.  This  sort  of  people  have  a  certeine 
preheminence,  and  more  estimation  than  labourers  &  artificers 
&  commonlie  live  wealthilie,  keepe  good  houses,  and  travell  to 
get  riches.  They  are  also  for  the  most  part  farmers  to  gentlemen 
&  with  grasing,  frequenting  of  markets,  and  keeping  of  servants 
(not  idle  servants  as  the  gentlemen  doth,  but  such  as  get  both 
their  owne  and  part  of  their  masters  living)  do  come  to  great 
welth,  in  somuch  that  manie  of  them  are  able  and  doo  buie  the 
lands  of  unthriftie  gentlemen,  and  often  setting  their  sonnes  to 
the  schooles,  to  the  universities,  and  to  the  Ins  of  the  court ;  or 
otherwise  leaving  them  sufficient  lands  wherupon  they  may  live 
without  labour,  doo  make  their  sayde  sonnes  by  that  means  to 
become  gentlemen :  these  were  they  that  in  times  past  made  all 
France  afraid.  And  the  kings  of  England  in  foughten  battels, 
were  woont  to  remaine  among  them  (who  were  their  foot- 
men) as  the  French  kings  did  amongst  their  horsemen:  the 
prince  thereby  shewing  where  his  chiefe  strength  did  consist. 
[Cf.  Smith  i.  23.] 

The  fourth  and  last  sort  of  people  in  England  are  daie 
labourers,  poor  husband  men,  and  some  retailers  (which  have 
no  free  land)  copie  holders,  and  all  artificers,  as  tailers,  shomakers, 
carpenters,  brickmakers,  masons  &c.  As  for  slaves  and  bondmen 
we  have  none.  These  therefore  have  neither  voice  nor 
authoritie  in  the  common  wealth,  but  are  to  be  ruled,  and  not 
to  rule  other:  yet  they  are  not  altogither  neglected,  for  in 
cities  and  corporat  townes,  for  default  of  yeomen,  they  are  faine 
to  make  up  their  inquests  of  such  maner  of  people.  And  in 
villages  they  are  commonlie  made  churchwardens,  sidemen, 
aleconners,  constables,  and  manie  times  injoie  the  name  of 
hedboroughes.     This  furthermore  among  other  things  I  have 



to  saie  of  our  husbandmen  and  artificers,  that  they  were  never 
so  excellent  in  their  trades  as  at  this  present.  But  as  the 
workemanship  of  the  later  sort  was  never  lesse  strong  and 
substantiall  for  continuance  and  benefit  of  the  buiers.  Certes 
there  is  nothing  that  hurteth  our  artificers  more  than  hast,  and 
a  barbarous  or  slavish  desire  by  ridding  their  worlce  to  make 
speedie  utterance  of  their  wares :  which  inforceth  them  to 
bungle  up  and  dispatch  manie  things  they  care  not  how  so  they 
be  out  of  their  hands,  whereby  the  buier  is  often  sore  defrauded, 
and  findeth  to  his  cost,  that  hast  maketh  wast  according  to  the 

But  to  leave  these  things  and  proceed  with  our  purpose, 
and  herein  (as  occasion  serveth)  generallie  to  speake  of  the 
common-wealth  of  England,  I  find  that  it  is  governed  and 
mainteined  by  three  sorts  of  persons. 

i.  The  prince,  monarch,  and  head  governour,  which  is 
called  the  king,  or  (if  the  crowne  fall  to  the  woman)  the 
queene :  in  whose  name  and  by  whose  authoritie  all  things  are 

2.  The  gentlemen,  which  be  divided  into  two  parts,  as 
the  baronie  or  estates  of  lords  (which  conteineth  barons  and  all 
above  that  degree)  and  also  those  that  be  no  lords,  as  knights, 
esquiers,  &  simple  gentlemen  &c,  it  shall  be  inough  to  have 
remembred  them  at  this  time. 

3.  The  third  and  last  sort  is  named  the  yeomanrie,  of 
whom  &  their  sequele,  the  labourers  and  artificers,  I  have  said 
somewhat  even  now." 

[Cf.  Smith  1.  24..] 



In  the  collation  of  the  two  MSS.  no  account  is  taken,  as  a 
general  rule,  of  variations  in  spelling,  in  punctuation,  or  in  the 
order  of  words  ;  of  simple  changes  of  conjunctions,  prepositions, 
relatives,  demonstratives,  or  auxiliary  verbs  (e.g.  and  for  or, 
for  rfor  from,  the  for  that,  do  for  will) ;  of  interchanges  of 
singulars  and  plurals,  present  tenses  and  past;  or  of  omissions 
and  insertions  of  insignificant  words. 

In  the  counting  of  the  lines  the  chapter  headings  are  not 

Words  enclosed  within  square  brackets  are  found  in  one 
MS.  and  not  in  the  other.  Sim.  indicates  that  the  two  MSS. 
nearly  but  not  quite  verbally  agree. 

T  =  Trinity  College  MS.  (1504);  H  =  British  Museum 
MS.  (Harleian  11 30). 

p.  9.        1.  3,  4.     Om.  and  special!,  The  first,  is  (T  and  H). 
I.  4.         Wher  one  doth  rule  (T). 
I.  5.         Om.  the  second  (T  and  H). 
1.  6.         ' ApurroKparia  and  6\iyapxia  (T) ;  'ApurroKparia  or  6\iyapxl& 

L  7.         dothe  reigne  caled  Aif/uojcpart'a  (T);  doth  rule  called  Aij/oo- 

Kparia  (H). 
1.  8.         understanded  (T) ;  understand  (H). 
1.  8,  9.     supremest  or  highest  (T) ;  supreme  and  highest  (H). 
1.  n.       Om.  and  direct  (T  and  H). 
1.  13.       That  which  the  part  that  ruleth  dothe  designe  or  commande 

(T);   That  which  that  part  which  doth  rule,  define  or 

command  (H). 



p.  9.         1.  15.       And  a  rule  is  alwayes  understaded  (H);  As  a  rule  is  under- 
stood (T). 
p.  10.      1.  3.         Lesbian  (T). 

1.  4.  Om.  right  (H). 

1.  5.         eavery  workmans  (T  and  H). 

1.  6,  7.     worke  streightest  (T  and  H) ;  who  goeth  streightest  to  the 
streightness  of  yt  (T);  who  goeth  moste  nighest  to  the 
straightnesse  of  yt  (H). 
Heading  of  chap.  2.     Om.  or  governement  (T). 
p.  ro.       1.  13.       the  part  that  doth  beare  rule  is  to  be  (T). 

1.  15.       to  be  respectively  good  (T). 

1.  17.       that  that  is  just  (T  and  H). 

1.  19.       it  is  not  muche  out  (T) ;  it  is  not  so  farre  out  (H). 

1.  21.       profitable  and  appearance  (T  and  H). 

1.  22.       just  and  right  and  appearance  of  right  (T  and  H). 

1.  23.        Om.  and  Soveraigne  (T  and  H). 

1.  24-26.  the  just  man  may,  for  his  just  and  true  meaning,  who 
would  amend  (T  and  H). 

1.  27.       doe  profitt  (T  and  H) ;  For  asmuch  as  (T) ;  For  as  (H). 
p.  11.       1.  2,  3.     putt,    be   by  the  law  justly   condemned,    yf  he  be   to   be 
condemned  and  justly  so  accompted  who  is  condemned 
for  doing  contrary   (T) ;  Sim.   H,   but  if  he   be   to  be 
accounted  justlye  condemned  who. 

1.  8.         multitude  or  great  (T  and  H). 

1.  10.       another  subdivision  (T);  an  other  division  (H). 

1.  13.       cal  /SacriXeia  or  kinge  (T)  ;  cal  a  kinge  or  /SacnXeia  (H). 

1.  15.       th'  one  they  call  the  goverment  of  the  best  dpiaroKpariav  (T). 

1.  16.       potentiam  optimatum  (T). 

1.  20.       politian  (T). 

1.  24.  &TdKTOI>  (H). 

Heading  of  chap.  4.     Examples  of  changings...govermentes  (T). 
p.  12.       1.  2,  3.     by  diversities  of  tymes  all  these  chainges  of  rules  and  gover- 
ment have  been  seene  (T) ;  by  diversities   of  times   all 
these  maners  of  rules  or  governments  hathe  beene  seene 

1.  3,  4.  As  in  Rep.  Romana  first  there  weare  kings,  as  Romulus, 
Numa,  Servius,  secondly  there  were  tyrants  as  Tarquinius, 
Sylla,  Caesar,  thirdly  there  was  (T). 

1.  5.  best  men  or  dpicrroKparia  (T). 

1.  6.         fourthly  the  usurping  (T). 

1.  8.  secession  of  the  Triumvirate  (T) ;  secession  for  the  Tribu- 
nate (H). 

1.  9.  Om.  manifestly  in  the  (T). 

1.  11.       and  after  in  (T  and  H). 


p.  12.      1.  12,  13.     Fifthly  was  the  common  wealth  and  rule  of  the  people  as 
dij/MOKparia  at  the  time  of  the  expulsing  (T). 

L  14.       long  tyme  after  (T);  Om.  was  (T). 

1.  15.       as  some  will  (T  and  H). 

1.  16,  17.     After  this  was  the  rule  of  usurping  of  the  rascaltye  (T). 

1.  18.       Scylla  his  rule  (T) ;  Syllas  rule  (H) ;  Caesars  rule  (T  and  H). 

1.  21.        Syracuse,  of  this  hathe  Lacedemonea  (T) ;  Syracuse,  of  this 
fate  Lacedemon  (H). 

1.  27.       and  so  to  decay  (T) ;  and  so  decay  (H). 
p.  13.      1.  3.         Om.  bodie  (H). 

1.  5.         So  then  when  (T). 

1.  7.         rather  sicknesses  of  a  (T  and  H). 

1.8,9.     °m-  if-  estate  (T). 

1.  11.       wrongefull  (T). 

1.  15.       meanes  possible  (T);  to  dissolve  and  abolish  (T  and  H). 

1.  15.       them.    Great  (T). 

1.  16.       courages  have  [hath]  taken  one  parte  and  this  made  Dion 
(T  and  H). 

1.  17.        Om.  up  (Tand  H). 

1.  19.       and  have  (T);  and  hath  (H);  many  common  wealthes  (H). 
Heading  of  chap.  6.     Om.  or  govemements  and  most  (T). 
p.  14.       1.  2,  3.     three  kinds,  and  ech  of  them  into  two;  yet  (T). 

1.  3.         must  not  thinke  (T). 

1.  6.         have  devised  (T). 

1.  14.       any  common  wealthe  (T  and  H). 

1.  16.       made  of  the  one  above  named  (T  and  H). 

1.  19.        Om.  person  (T). 

1.  20.        Om.  that  to  be  the  estate  of  (T  and  H). 
P-  15-       !•  »«         A  tyrant  they  do  define  to  be  he  that  by  force  (T). 

1.  4.         maketh  new  (T) ;  Om.  and  consent  (T  and  H). 

1.  5.         wealth  of  his  people  (T  and  H). 

1.  6.         advantage  and  advancement  (T). 

1.  10.       In  one  sorte  a  man  may  be  (T);  in  sorte   that  one  may 
be  (H). 

1.  11.       getting  of  the  rule  (T  and  H). 

1.  1 4.       violence  to  the  rule  (T  and  H). 

1.  15.       better  orderinge  (T  and  H). 

1.  16.       although  eache  after  (T  and  H). 

1.  21.       Commodus  sone  upon   (T) ;  Commodus  very  shortly  after 

1.  24.       their  rule  (T  and  H). 

1.  25.       as  [all]  the  good  Emperors  of  Rome  after  Caesar  Octavius 
and  the  better  Popes  of  Rome  (T  and  H). 

1.  30.       Caesar  only  (T). 




p.  16. 

p.  17. 

p.  18. 

p.  19. 



si,  22 



12,    13 



16,  17 









25,  26 


27,  28 









19,  20 

1.  24. 

dpuTTOKpariap  (T  and  H). 
(?/«.  or  by...onely  (T). 
this  absolute  (T  and  H). 

would  use  it  (T  and  H). 
vofj.ifj.7]v  (T  and  H). 
regular  by  lawes  (H). 
woulde  not  any  to  be  Dictator  (T) ;  did  not  suffer  any  man 

to  keepe  the  Dictateur  (H). 
Greekes  call  (T). 
.     maketh  this  especially,  intreatinge  of  rulers  one  kind  of 

kings  (T) ;  maketh  this  espece  of  rulers  one  kind  of  kings 

as  such  who  (T  and  H). 
family  (T  and  H). 

.     Om.  derived... bodies  (H);  of  their  loynes  (T). 
who  absolutely  ruled  over  [upon]  (T  and  H). 
rude  and  ignorant  people,  one  whom  (T  and  H). 

justice  (who. ..of  him)  he,  I  saie,  for  that  (T). 
were  in  manner  but  (H). 
yea  almost  when  (T). 

was  so  highly  esteemed  that  he  was  takne  (T). 
Om.  at  the  first  (T  and  H). 
yea  some  were  (T). 

Domitian :  for  these  causes  that  kind  (T). 
Om.  at  the  first  (T);  Om.  taken  (T). 
Om.  vice  of  the  (T). 
he  is  accompted  a  tyrant  (T). 
.     from  whence  (H). 
kon-ning  (T);  kunninge  (H). 

kan  or  kon  (T  and  H). 
betokeneth  to  end  or  understand  (T). 
19,1.  1.      Om.  to  know... betokeneth  (H). 
kan  or  kon  (T). 

sciens  aut  prudens  homo  (T) ;  prudens  aut  sciens  homo  (H). 
verbe  also  of  the  other,  as  in  some  places  and  in  the  older 

language,  I  can  this  (T). 
can  not  understand  (T  and  H). 
vanquerer  (H). 

investiture  of  the  Empire  (T  and  H). 
Om.  or  forraine  (T  and  H). 
.     of  God  himselfe,  his  people  and  the  sworde  of  the  crowne 

(T);    of  God  and  himselfe,  his   people  and   sword,  the 

crowne  (H). 
appease  the  people  (T). 



p.  19. 

p.  20. 



32,  33 




1 4- 
iS»  I0 


of  chap. 







consciences  of  his  people  (T). 

yearly  to  be  payed  (T). 

act  neither  approoved  of  (T  and  H). 

accorded  by  act  of  (H);  accorded  by  consente  of  (T). 

.    neither  did  [H.  neither  to]  bind  the  king  then  nor  his 

successors  people  or  realme  [now]  (T  and  H). 
Therefor  hereafter  the  better  to  be  understood  (T) ;  To  be 

better  understanded  hereafter  (H). 
an  other  division  (T  and  H). 
Om.  together  (T). 

preservation  (T);  Om.  as  well...warre  (T). 
abusive  (T  and  H). 

which  once  paste  (T) ;  ech  man  divideth  (H). 
communinge  (T);  commoninge  (H). 
and  som  reason  (T  and  H). 
mary  it  is  (H). 
yet  that  made  (H) ;  Om.  so  (H) ;  yet  that  made  not  a  common 

wealth  neither  can  be  so  called,  because  (T). 
Om.  of  the  husbandman  (H). 

onely  looked  for  (T  and  H);  or  pacte  (T);  or  parte  (H). 
as  Esaie  sayth  (T). 

made  me?  Now  the  (T);  made?  Now  the  (H). 
Lorde,  and  received  and  reckoned  (T) ;  Lorde  and  maister, 

received  among  (H). 
but  as  part  (T  and  H) ;  possession  of  the  goods  (T). 
.     other  redresse  of  administration  (T). 
Om.  wealth  (T  and  H). 
Om.  Remp.  or  (T). 

11.     The  first  force  (T);  The  first  sowrce  (H). 
family  for  the  continuance  of  societie  (T);  family  for  the 

societie  or  continuance  (H). 
to  defend  etc :  the  woman  (T). 
labor  etc;  as  for  the  nurture  (T);  [a  blank  space  is  left  in 

H  after  "labor  for''], 
it  is  the  charge  (?)  of  them  both  (T). 
Om.  faire  (T). 
Ech  of  them  (H). 
we  be  so  naturally  (T  and  H). 
to    say    avOponros   (pixret.    fwov   £<tti   (taWov    awdvaffTticor    i) 

■woXirtKov  a  man  (T  and  H). 
to  beard  (T  and  H). 

all  beasts  (H) ;  Of  all  living  creatures  man  (T). 
politike,  and  [he]  cannot  [well]  (T  and  H). 
Om.  and  fellowship  (T). 

M  2 



p.  23.      1.  1.         Om.  wild  (T). 

1.  3.         Om.  in  (T) ;  and  it  is  nothing  else  but  a  private  (T). 

1.  5.  &pi<TTOKparla  (T  and  II). 

1.  8.         in  other  thing  (T). 

1.  10.       greater  wit  (T) ;  greater  courage  (T). 

Lit.       to  the  woman  he  hath  given  (T). 

I.  13.       to  constrain  the  man  (T). 

1.  15.       Om.  two  (T). 

1.  17.       bonde  or  freemen,  their  householde  stuffe  (T). 

1.  20.       marie  they  cannot  yet  (H) ;  apiaroKparLa  (T  and  H). 

1.  31,  22.     fiercKpopiKws  (T  and  H);  but  in  an  house  (H)  ;  and  as  it 

wear  a  little  sparke  of  that  governement  civill  (T) ;  sparke 

as  it  were  like  to  that  governement  (H). 
1.  25.       Om.  so  that  it  (T). 
1.  26.       Om.  wel  (T);  in  one  house  (Tand  H). 
p.  24.       1.  3.         children  by  mariage  begin  (T). 

1.  5.         an  other  new  house  (H);  familie  arisethe  (T). 
1.  7.         Om.  and  so. ..another  (H);  and  so  by  space  and  time  (T). 
1.  11.       by  their  common  (T  and  H). 
1.  14.        Om.  the  first  and  most  naturall  (T). 
1.  19.       or  in  going  about  (T) ;  Om.  or  any  wise  (T). 
1.  20,  21.     of  whom  he  had  all.     And  (T  and  H). 
1.  21.       therefore  he  doth  (T);  therefore  he  will  (H). 
1.  22.       absolute  example  of  a  perfect  king  (T). 
1.  24.       of  his  body  (T). 

1.  25,  26.     for  them  all  and  every  one  of  them:  they  (T). 
1.  26.       than  they  all  or  any  one  of  them  (H). 
1.  29.       causes  (T). 
1.  30.       coming  (T  and  H). 

1.  31.       no  vigoure  (T);  no  rigoure  (H);  every  paine  (T). 
1.  32.       tooke  as  laide  (H) ;  took  as  put  (T). 
p.  25.       1.  1.         When  the  great  (T). 
1.  2.         did  first  amongst  (T). 
1.  3.  reverence  of  any  one  (T). 

1.  5,  6.     amongst  whome  (H);  to  the  other  that  they  had  in  him, 

amonge  whome  (T) ;    it   doth  amonge  brethren  (T) ;    it 

fareth  amongst  brethren  (H). 
1.  7.         risen:  yet  notwithstanding  (T);  Om.  yet  (T). 
1.  8.         strangers  to  them  (H);  unknowne  and  strange  unto  them 

1.  12,  13.     fay  led  his  yere  and  time  for  ignorance  (T);  fayled  this 

yere  or  time  for  ignorance  (H). 
1.  13-15.     in  next  beinge  wyser  of  his  selfe  his  brothers  fault  or  error 

he  amended.     And  (T). 



P-  *5- 

1.  20. 
1.  22. 

26.      1. 

1.  6,  7. 
1.  12. 
1.  i4. 
1.  15. 
Heading  of  chap, 

1.  ,9. 
1.  13. 

p.  27. 

L  37-p. 
I.  1. 


1.  6,  7. 
1.  10. 
1.  11. 


1.  26. 

1.  28. 

1.  29. 
Heading  of  chap 
p.  28.      1.  2,  3. 



1.  9-1 1. 

1.  12. 


1.  22. 

families  together  within  themselves  (T). 

not  much  differinge  (T). 

urgent  causes  and  agreed  upon  som  (T  and  H). 

wisest  and  sagest  (T). 

Om.  and  maintaine  (T). 

and  who  shoulde  (T  and  H). 

so  make  them  (T). 

walshe  and  barbarous  (H) ;  wealphe  and  barbarous  (T). 

seemeth  to  be  (T). 

Om.  number  (T  and  H). 

14.     The  first  sowrce  (H) ;  Om.  originall  or  (T) ;  Om.  rule  of 

the  (T). 
Om.  all  (T). 
eche  setteth  then  merites  (T);    eche  having  their  merites 

27,  1.  1.       Om.  such  as  (H);  fewe,  for  two  things  for  which 

men  that  be  in  societie  (T). 
men  who  be  (H) ;  strive  for  (T  and  H). 
profitte.     No  (T). 
herein  (T  and  H). 

to  make  more  magistrate[s]  (T  and  H). 
rulers,  so  that  eche  man  in  his  turn  or  els  by  lot  might  (T). 
commeth  by  (T). 
Om.  old  (H). 
Om.  of  birth  (T). 
who  should  best  goveme  (T). 
for  the  sowrce  (H). 
resp:  populi  (T). 
other  some  sensum  potestatis  (T). 
.15.    ought  to  be  (T);  nature  of  the  countrie  (T). 
Om.  governement  in  (T). 
alwayes  arise  of  tribulations  and  malice  (T). 
or  eche  species  or  kinde  (T). 
given  which  agreeth  as  you  would  put  a  garment  fitt  to  a 

mans  body  or  a  shoe  fitt  to  a  mans  foote  so  the  body 

[politicke]  is  in  quiet  (H   and   T);    profit  thereby  (H 

and  T). 
to  a  contrary  kynde  of  (T). 
is  either  to  greate  or  to  little  (T). 
doth  lett  and  comber  and  hurt  (T) ;  doth  hurt  and  comber 

and  letteth  (H). 
Prince  or  [and]  ruler  beinge  sett  at  their  (T  and  H). 
with  insolencie  (T  and  H). 

1.  23,  24.    and  so  scatter  (T). 



p.  28.  1.  27,  28.  Om.  as. ..others  (T  and  H).  [H  inserts  a  marginal  note — 
"  Graeci,  Romanj,  Samnites,  Vandalj,  Dani,  Norwegi, 
Suets."  This  note  reappears  in  some  of  the  later  printed 
editions  (e.g.  1601) — "  Graeci,  Romani,  Samnits,  Vandali, 
Dani,  Norwegi,  Sueti."  Notice  that  the  order  in  the  two 
cases  is  the  same,  and  that  two  names  not  belonging  to 
the  text  are  inserted.  This  precludes  coincidence.] 
1.  29.  we  must  (T);  must  ye  (H). 
p.  29.      1.  7.         after  his  (T  and  H). 

1.  10.        Om.  part  of  (T  and  H). 

1.  12.       Om.  of  (T  and  H);  who  when  (T);  chiefest  (T). 

1.  13.       the  chiefe  consult  (T);  the  chiefe  consulteth  (H). 

1.  15.       as  the  Lumbards  did  (T) ;  as  the  Lumbards  (H). 

1.  17.       Swizerds  (T) ;  Swiss  (H). 

1.  18.       cuntry  (T);  Om.  yet  (T  and  H);  Om.  else  (T  and  H). 

1.  19.       taketh  the  rule  (T  and  H). 

1.  20.       populacie  (H) ;  popular  sorte  (T). 

1.  21.       Vicentians    [did]   at   the  erection  of  the   citie   of   Venice 

(T  and  H). 
1.  22.        Om.  before  (T). 
1.  25.       it  standeth  by  (H). 
1.  26,  27.     Om.  the  multitude... make  (T). 
p.  30.      1.  2.         Om.  of  the  commonwealth  and  (H). 

1.  3,  4.     for  they  be  (T);  and  as  of  the  goods  (T). 
1.  5.         And  in  this  (T  and  H). 
1.  24.       base  age  (T  and  H). 
L  26.        to  meddle  (T). 
1.  28.       do  never  want  (T). 
1.  29.       defaultes  (T);  defaulte  (H). 

1.  31,  32.     wealth:  and  is  one  this  wise  (to  witt)  of  them  (T). 
!•  32>  33p     beare  rule  and  of  them  (T);  office,  and  which  bearethe 
none.     Those  be  called  (H);  the  one  be  called  (T). 
p.  31.       1.  1.         other  private  (T  and  H);  Another  order  was  (T);  Another 
was  (H). 
Romanes  caled  Patricii  (T). 

a  great  while  (T) ;  those  that  were  patricii  (T  and  H). 
them  [those]  that  were  plebei  (T  and  H);  rule  among[st] 

them  till  (T  and  H). 
magistracie  was  (T) ;   unto   them  as  well  as  to  the  other 

(T  and  H). 
had  they  (T  and  H) ;  among[st]  (T  and  H). 
dr/fjLOTiKovi  (T  and  H) ;  Frenchemen  (T) ;  Om.  also  (T  and  H). 
le  populace  (H). 
do  commonly  divide  our  men  (T). 



















p.  31.       1.  11.       citizens  or  burgesses  (T  and  H). 

Heading  of  chap.  17.    Of  the  parts  [parties]  of  the  commonwelthe  of  Englande 
(T  and  H) ;  Om.  called... maior  (T  and  H). 

1.  20.       or  highest  in  (T  and  H). 

1.  si,  22.     For  a  Dukes  eldest  sonne  (T). 

1.  22.       Om.  called  (T  and  H). 

1.  23.       Om.  is... of  (T  and  H). 

1.  23,  24.     a  viscounts  son  a  barron  (T) ;  Om.  else  (H). 

1.  26,  27.     the  good  service  and  advauncement  (T  and  H). 
p.  32.      1.6.         and  Erles   sonnes   (T  and   H);    Om.  and...earle  (T  and 

1.  7.         Om.  which  (H). 

1.  8-10.  barrons,    yet   by   law  and   use   they  be   esteemed   barons. 
The  (H). 

1.  11.       degree  of  the  Senators  (T). 

1.  11,  12.  title  of  nobilitie  as  we  use  to  call  in  Englande  to  patricii 
(T  and  H). 

1.  13.      filios,  afterwards  they  were  called  darissimi  (T  and  H). 

1.  15,  16.     in  yearly  valew  (T). 

1.  20,  21.     the  decay  be  excessive  (T  and  H) ;  Om.  be  (T  and  H). 

1.  22.       moti  (H);  remoti  (T). 
Heading  of  chap.  18.     Om.  may  (T). 

1.  27.       which  name  (T  and  H);  Om.  of  prince  (H). 
p.  33.       1.  4.  Om.  he  or  (T). 

1.  5.         mon  Seigniour  (T). 

1.  6.         a  Prince  (T). 

1.  7.         none  ar  borne  (T). 

1.  8.         Om.  the  more  (T). 

1.  9.         after  for  advauncement   (T);    after    as    an    advauncement 

1.  10.        Om.  and  manhood  (T). 

L  18.       for  the  vertues  (T  and  H). 

1.  20.        Om.  and  ours  (T). 

L  41.       Om.  in  all  pointes  (T). 

1.  22.        Om.  any  (T). 

1.  23.       doth  agree  with  (H);  al  commonwelthes  chainge  (T). 

1.  25.       diversities  of  times  do  give  present  (H). 

1.  28.       wherwith  (T). 

1.  29-31.     Om.  chosen  (T);  Om.  according... commonly  (H). 
p.  34.       1.  2.  spende  (T  and  H) ;  Om.  or  fee  (T  and  H). 

1.  3.         Prince  (T) ;  Om.  so  (T  and  H) ;  Equites  is  (T). 

1.  4.         Om.  it  (T  and  H) ;  knightes,  for  it  is  at  (T). 

1.  6-7.     [findeth]  his  own  horse  himselfe  (T  and  H) ;  as  in  the  time 
of  peace  (T). 



p.  34.       1.  7-8.  Om.  and...warres  (T  and  H). 

1.  10.  times  and  at  a  (T);    times  at  (H);    Om.  but  in  Englande 
(T  and  H). 

1.  n-12.     gap  in  MS.  between  may  and  by  (H). 

1.  13.  prince  or  at  the  (T). 

1.  14.  at  the  making  (T  and  H). 

1.  16.  take  the  honour  of  a  knight  (T). 

1.  18.  had  rather  do.  (H  and  T). 

1.  20.  that  abilitie  (H);  that  authoritie  (T). 

1.  25.  valew  (T). 

1.  30.  in  Englishe  (H). 

1.  33.  In  making  (T  and  H). 

p.  35.       1.  6.  Om.  house  (T). 

1.  8,  9.  we  shall  speake  (T  and  H).     Now  whereupon  (T). 

1.  10,  n.     more  than  miles  (T). 

1.  12.  Om.  might... question  (T  and  H). 

1.  13.  Om.  rather  (T). 

1.  14.  wagior  (?)  (H). 

1.  16.  solduros  (T  and  H) ;  Om.  men  (T). 

1.  22.  oth,  execration  or  (T  and  H). 

1.  24.  Lands  knights  (H). 

1.  25.  land  (H). 

1.  25,  26.    although  now  they  (T);   Om.  at  this  day  (H);  Om.  for... 
hirelings  (T). 

p.  36.       1.  2,  3.  Frenchmen  call  (T) ;  or  hominem  equcstris  (T). 

1.  8.  sous  chevallier  (T);  the  tyme  (H). 

1.  9.  and  [then]  when  he  riseth  (T  and  H). 

1.  10.  advaunces  (T);  avaunces  (H). 

1.  14.  longer  (T  and  H). 

1.  18.  Om.  in  common  appellation  (T). 

1.  20.  after  (T). 

1.  27.  had  [had]  manie .noble  (T  and  H). 

1.  28.  Om.  being  (H). 

1.  32.  prince,  his  eldest  sonne  (T  and  H). 

P-  37-       1-  3-  m  all  vertues  (T  and  H). 

1.  4.  honourable  title  (T). 

1.  5.  enorned  with  golde  (T  and  H). 

1.  6.  Om.  of  gold  (T). 

1.  12.  Englande  be  the  heade  (T  and  H). 

1.  19.  senngerum  (?)  (T). 

1.  20.  Om.  which  beare  armes  (T). 

1.  21.  armeros  (T). 

1.  22.  which  do  beare  a  buckler  or  som  other  thinge  as  a  testi- 
monie  (T). 



P.  38. 

P-  39- 

p.  40. 



1 1. 

1.  2.         and  [by]  that  being  taught  in    amies   had   that    name   (T 
and  H). 
8.  Om.  all  (T);  calleth  all  them  now  (H). 

10.  to  be  honour  (T). 

1 1.  for  his  vertues  (T  and  H) ;  few  (H). 
15.        riches  (T). 

17.        Om.  within  (T). 

19,  20.     Om.  6*«.f...sirname  (T). 

20,  21.     Sergios,  Claudios,  Fabios  (T). 

22.  of  which  som  were  (T). 

23.  gentille  (T);  being  [yet]  remaining  (T  and  H). 
28.       olde  stocke  (T) ;  olde  smoke  (H). 

2.         be  misliked  (T) ;   Om.  Thus  the  (T  and  H). 

had  ever  such  adoe  with  such  men  (T) ;  those  men  (H). 
Om.  those... Achilles  (T). 
Aeacidae,  Thersitae  (H). 
But  all  other  (T). 
Om.  that  is  (T  and  H). 
is  to  have  it  (T) ;  and  as  vertue  (T  and  H). 
obtained  for  the  example  (H);  maintained  for  the  example 

progenitors,  for  the  abilitie  to  give  to  their  race  better 
education  and  bringing  up  for  the  enraced  love  of  [the] 
tenants   and    [or]   neighbours    to    such    noblemen    [and 
gentlemen  of  whom  they  holde  and  by  whom  they]  doe 
dwell.  (H  and  T). 
Om.  which. ..steps  (T  and  H). 
Om.  so... prince  (T  and  H). 
merit  to  deserve  (T  and  H). 
doth  make  but  (T  and  H). 
them  barons  (T) ;  the  barons  (H). 
which  is  commonly  saide  (T);    that   is   saide  (H);  ftteris 

(T  and  H). 
which  the  tytle  shall  beare   that    the  said    Heralde  hath 
perused  and  seene  ould  regesters  (T) ;  past  have  borne 
the  same  (T);  which  the  title  shall  beare  that  the  said 
Herauld  in  tyme  past  had  borne  the  same  (H). 
Om.  of  that  man  (T). 

Om.  for  sundrie  (T  and  H);  which  he  hath  done  by  the 
authoritie  (T  and  H). 
1.  17.        in  armes  (T);  he  giveth  (T  and  H). 
1.  18.        Om.  being  (T  and  H). 
1.  19.        an  esquier  (T  and  H). 
1.  20.       Thes  men  (T  and  H). 


1.  12-16. 

L  16,  17. 
L  27. 
1.  29. 

1.  6. 

1.  8-12. 











9,  io. 
17,  18 

21,  22 





I,  2. 





no,  in  any  (H). 

Om.  and  keepe  (T). 

every  shew  (T);  peculiar  (T). 

wide  (H). 

so  much  diminish  (T  and  H);    Om.  As  (T  and  H);,  For 

other  outward  respecte  (T). 
counted  (H). 

arme  himself  accordinglie  (H). 
Om.  also  (T  and  H);  manlyke  (T). 
higher  courage  (H). 
more  liberalise  (H) ;  more  liberall  (T). 
idle  men  (T  and  H). 
Om.  hereby  per  chance  (T  and  H). 
he  himself  (T);  As  for  (T) ;  For  as  for  (H). 
such  that  have  to  do  in  it  (T). 
Om.  are  to  (T  and  H). 

appointed  thereunto  (T);  Om.  persons  (T  and  H). 
no  (T  and  H). 
Om.  save  (H). 
which  be  called  in  (T). 
iiij.  the  borough  (T). 
Om.  to  give  (T). 

Om.  for... appointed  (T  and  H). 
hominem,  this  name  is  known  and  familiar  (T). 
.     to  writtes  (T  and  H) ;  which  is  an  Englishe  man  freeman 

borne  who  may  (T). 
,     v-vi  (H) ;  at  this  daye  (T). 
Om.  yet  (T). 
keeping  (T). 
to  gett  (T  and  H). 
and  with  (T  and  H). 
idle  servants  (H) ;  idle  ones  as  do  gentlemen  (T)  ;    Om. 

both  (T). 
they  do  arise  (T). 
schooles  to  (H) ;  schooles  at  (T). 
as  for  distinction  as  (H) ;  and  for  distinction  thus  (T). 
thus  John  (T);  esquier,  if  he  be  not  esquier  John  Finche 

Gentleman  (T  and  H). 
and  ar  to  be  (T) ;  Om.  number  of  the  (T). 
and  such  [beinge]  the  lowest  (T  and  H). 
be  to  be  (H);  Om.  the  number  of  (T). 
populacie  (H);  popular  sorte  (T). 
iroWa  /j^ffOKrw  apicra  (T  and  H). 
delivered  of  yt  (T  and  H). 


p.  44.       L  3.         Om.  yet  (T  and  H). 
1.  4.         wisheth  (T). 

1.  5.         uppon  their  owne  (T) ;  at  their  owne  (H). 
1.  6.         they  have  their  (T  and  H). 
1.  10.       hym  and  his  (H). 

1.  11,  12.     who  hathe  adventured  his  (H) ;  for  and  with  (T). 
1.  16.        Om.  so... call  (T). 
1.  18.       Lorde,  I  meane,  (T  and  H). 
1.  19.        for  otherwise  (T). 
1.  20.       nor  ever  (T);  making  any  (T). 
1.  28.       kynde  of  cowardlines  (T). 
1.  29.       they  had  or  helde  (T). 
1.  30.       as  from  (T). 
1.  32.       yeomanry  (H);  England  joyned  together  might  go  through 

the  worlde  (T);  Om.  are  renowned  (H). 
p.  45.       1.  1.         and  we  always  (T);  as  we  always  (H). 
1.  7.         remained  (T  and  H). 

1.  10.        Om.  shew  (T);  his  chiefe  strength  (T  and  H). 
1.  13.       as  young  men  [man]  (T  and  H). 
1.  14.       any  man  yeoman  untill  (T). 
1.  16.        Yonger  (T). 
1.  17.        Possibly  (Tand  H). 
1.  18.        to  call  (T). 
L  20.       some  lowe  (H);  they  hearde  that  name  by  frequentation 

used  of  the  lowe  (T). 
1.  21.       Om.  yet  (H). 
1.  22-24.     and  being  so  called  amonge  them  to  be  counted  smale 

gentlemen  or  younger  men;  they  calling  in  the  warre  by 

mocking  or  sporte  one  an  other  when  they  come  home 

used  still  this  name  younger  man  (T);    Om.  to  be  (H); 

they  calling  (H) ;  mocking  (H);  sport  on  an  other  (H). 
1.  27.       howsoever  (T). 
1.  28.       yonger  (T);  yonge  (T). 
p.  46.       1.  2,  3.     censi  pUgtarii  (?)  or  optrarii  (T). 
1.  4.         marchantes  retayners  (T). 
1.  11,  12.     yeomen,  they  are  fayne  to  make  their  inquestes  of  such 

(T  and  H). 
1.  19,  20.     maintained  (T);  maimed  (?)  (H);  sortes  and  manner  (H); 

Monarchi  or  (T). 
1.  23.        The  second  sorte  is  the  (T). 
1.  24.       two  sorte  (T). 
1.  25.       which  contayneth  (T  and  H). 
p.  47.       1.  1.  simple  (T  and  H). 

1.  5.         officers  (T) ;  Om.  and  collection  of  (T  and  H). 



p.  48.      1.  1.  Om.  of  the  realme  (T). 

1.  2.         is  the  Parliament  (T) ;  is  in  the  Parliament  (H). 

1.  4.         gentrie  (H). 

1.  5.         there  is  (T  and  H). 

1.  8.         nobilitie  and  Lordes  (T  and  H). 

1.  15.       parties  must  eache  appeare  and  after  that  (T);  apart  (H). 

1.  17.       unto  it  and  alloweth  it  (T). 

1.  19,  20.     apply  himselfe  to  defend  and  obey  it  (T). 
p.  49.      1.  8.         defineth  out  (T). 

1.  25.       sendeth  out  (H);  prescripts  (T). 

1.  29.       from  the  day  (T). 
p.  50.      1.  1.         Om.  at  the  least  (T). 

1.  2,  3.     admonish  every  shire  (T). 

1.  4-6.     Om.  to  heare.. .shire  (T). 

1.  6.         all  upon  that  day  (T). 

1.  7.  ancient  (H). 

1.  9.         Om.  there  (H) ;  may  be  ther  present  the  first  (T). 

1.  11.       who  are  present  (T). 

1.  12.       appointed  (T) ;  voice  of  the  (T  and  H). 

1.  13.       is  counted  (T) ;  yoman  I  call  him  (T). 

1.  16,  17.     the  most  voices  (T). 

1.  18.       likewise  also  (T). 

1.  22.       hie  house  (H);  T  Meg. 

1.  26,  27.     as  his  proctour  and  (T);  a  voice  for  him  (T). 
p.  51.       1.  1.         place  whereby  (T). 

1.  5.         side  of  that  house  (H). 

1.  11.       of  any  doubt  that  ariseth  (T). 

1.  14,  15.     who  give  [geveth]  their  consent  (T  and  H);  Om.  is  given 
(T  and  H) ;  every  man  (T). 

1.  16.       Om.  severally  (T). 

1.  1 7.       proxies  or  letters  for  (T). 

1.  18.       onely  thus  (T). 

1.  23.       number  of  three  or  fower  (T). 

1.  25.        Om.  or  chamber  (T). 

1.  26.       declaring  also  (T). 

1.  3 r.       comming  altogether  (T). 
p.  52.      1.  1,  2.     Om.  the  commons  (T);  chancellor  againe  (T). 

1.  7,  8.     requireth  (T  and  H) ;  of  the  prince  (T  and  H). 

1.  11.       Secondly  that  without  offence  of  his  majestie  (T). 

1.  12,  13.     Om.  in  disputing  (T). 

1.  14.        Om.  and... Majestie  (T). 

1.  16-18.     him,  that  they  which  wear  called  to  his  highnes  courte 
mighte  (T) ;  Om.  themselves  (H). 

1.  23.       might  have  (T). 




P-  54- 

P-  £5- 


25.     he  will  not  abuse  those  that  have  (T). 

L  28, 

29.     done  the  first  day  (T). 

1-  33- 

Om.  house  (T). 


either  with  (T). 


reasonablely  (T). 


dispute  (H). 

1.   13. 

Om.  againe  (T). 

1.    14. 

Om.  and... question  (H). 

1.   16. 

Om.  here  (T). 


18.     you  contented  (T);  And  yfe  the  non  contents  be  more 

than  the  contents  (T). 


antiquated  (T  and  H) ;  Now  if  (T). 

1.  24, 

25.     asketh  by  (T) ;  sayinge  (T). 

1.  29, 

30.     Om.  and  so...actes  (T). 

1.   I. 

Om.  busie  (T). 


moe,  if  they  will  have  one  of  them  read  (T) ;  redd  (H). 


lowest  (T). 


Om.  seate  or  (T) ;  for  the  nonce  (T  and  H). 


Om.  first  (T). 


Om.  point  (T  and  II). 


sundry  dayes  (T). 


observed  (T). 


Om.  yet  (T). 


whom  he  dothe  (H). 


25.     as  thus  he  (T) ;  will  the  bill  and  gave  this  and  this  reason 

doth  not  satisfye  but  I  am  of  the  contrary  opinion  for 

this  and  this  reason  (T). 


spake  (H). 

1.  26. 

ins.  ad  fin.  doth  not  satisfie,  but    I   am   of  the  contrarie 

opinion  for  this  and  this  reason  (H). 

1.  29. 

replie  againe  (T). 


Om.  in  that  house  (T). 


all  the  whole  time  (T). 


but  also  (T). 

1.  10. 

moste  sweet  (T) ;   moste  doulce  (H). 

1.  12, 

13.     may.     Ordinarily  (H);  time,  at  (H). 

1.  13. 

or  haste  (T). 

1.  20, 

21.     upon  by  the  reader  they  subscribe  thus  (T). 


stmt  (T). 


downe  againe  (T). 


sont  (T). 

1.  27. 

understanded  (H). 

1.  28. 

then  sometimes  (T). 

1.  29. 

Om.  that  a  (T). 



p.  56. 

P-  57- 

p.  58. 

•  4- 
.  10. 
.  14. 

•  17- 
.  18. 

•  n- 

.  -26-28 

•  32. 33 

■  4- 
.  11. 
.  14. 

•  i5- 
,  17. 
.  18. 
.  28-30. 



1.  1. 

1.  12. 

1.  16. 
1.  17,  ll 

1.  20. 

Heading  of  chap. 

P-  59- 

1.  2. 
1.  9,  10. 
1.  10. 
1.  11. 

1.  22. 
1.  26. 

consent  (T). 

Om.  ech  man  (T). 

if  (T  and  H). 

lower  (T). 

thrise  (T). 


thus  up  the  bill  (T). 

And  if  it  be  doubted  (T). 
Om.  So. ..part  (H). 
certaine  committed  commonly  of  them  (T). 

these  committed  (T). 

before  sayde  (H). 

in  his  seate  and  all  (H). 

seates  (T  and  H). 

Om.  there  (T) ;  thanksgivinge  (T). 

Om.  &c  (T) ;  and  then  in  (T). 

shall  be  (T  and  H),  and  then  (T). 
sayth  that  the  prince  hath  well  viewed  and  weighed  what 
[the  things  which]  hath  [have]  been  moved  and  presented 
[represented]  and  debated  amongst  the  Lords  and  them 
[then],  and  thereupon  [therefor]  will  shew  his  mynde 
that  their  doings  might  have  perfect  life  [lighte]  (H 
and  T). 

they  may  have  (T). 

season  (T). 

Om.  &c  (T). 

Om.  benefit  or  (T). 

sadvise  (T  and  H) ;  counted  (T  and  H). 

none  (T  and  H). 

all  other  (H);  have  spokne  (T). 

.     and  by  none  (T) ;  forcible  (T) ;  make  the  forfaiture  (T 
and  II). 

man  anewe  (T);  man  of  new  (H) ;  law  made  (T  and  H). 

Om.  saide  (T);  saide  partyes  (H). 

3.     Monarchic  (T). 

Monarchic  (T). 

only  with  the  advice  (T). 
participate  his  mynde  (T) ;  as  many  as  (T). 

Om.  shall  (T) ;  concerning  such  (T). 

forren  nations  or  Princes  (T). 

ambassages  (T). 

or  any  other  deadly  (T). 

sudden  warre  in  open  (T). 

Om.  all  (T). 



p.  60.      L  9.         decryinge  (H) ;  of  the  monies  (T). 

1.  13.       the  princes  pleasure  and  discretion  (T). 

1.  15.       for  the  coine  (H  and  T). 

1.  26,  27.     there  was  ever  (T  and  H);  betwixt  (T  and  H). 

1.  29,  30.     "booke  of  Monies  "  (T). 

1.  32.        Om.  by  the  Parliament  (T). 
p.  61.       I.3.         for  paynes  of  (T). 

I.5.         whereas  (T);  Om.  the  forfaite  (H). 

1.  6.         the  one  parte  is  to  (T) ;  is  to  (T). 

1.  in       abolicion  (H);  stat  (T). 

1.  13.       But  notwithstanding  (T  and  H). 

L  22.        Om.  certaine  (T). 

1.  24.        excitations  (T). 

1.  27.       hath  hurte  (?)  or  (T). 

1.  30.        of  any  parte  of  a  man  (T  and  H). 

1.  31.        Om.  in  the  name  (T). 
p.  62.       1.  3.         halte  (T);  justiciars  (H). 

1.  4.         and  so  L:  Marquesse  (T). 

I.  9.         landes  one  (T). 

1.  10.       fooles,  naturalls,  (T). 

1.  11.       madd  (T  and  H)  ;  continue,  especially  (T  and  H). 

1.  14.       have  growne  (T  and  H). 

L  16,  17.  who  can  take  (T  and  H) ;  with  inverted  commas  "who... 
hand  "  (T). 

1.  17,  18.  and  if  it  were  governed  as  it  might  be  (whether  it  be  or 
not  let  [left]  others  [other  men]  judge)  there  is  not  so 
much  ( H  and  T). 

1.  23.       of  the  Lawes  and  Lawyers  (T  and  H). 
p.  63.       1.  1,  2.    understanded  of  them  of  the  realme  (H). 
Heading  of  chap.  4.     wherein  our  (T) ;  others  (T). 

1.  8.         which  is  as  much  to  say  [as]  (T  and  H). 

1.  15,  16.     where  (T  and  H) ;  common  wealthes  ar  most  (T). 

1.  17.       first  (T);  1.  (H). 

L  18.       secondly  (T);  2.  (H). 

1.  20.        thirdly  (T) :  3.  (H). 

1.  22,  23.     fourthly  (T);  4.  (H);  ellectinge  chief  (T). 

1.  26.  Om.  himselfe  (T). 
p.  64.     Heading  of  chap.  5.     manner  of  trialles  (T);  fashions  of  triall  (H). 

1.  6.         maner  (T  and  H;  also  ed.  1584). 

1.  7.         betwixt... betwixt  (T  and  H). 

1.  12,  13.     and  the  last  day  allowed  by  (T). 

1.  16.  intromell  (?)  (H). 
Heading  of  chap.  7.  Triall  or  (T). 
p.  65.       I.  7.         Om.  ever  (T). 



p.  65.       1.  9.         thus  described  (T  and  H).     H  leaves  a  space  after  Briton 
as  if  for  the  description. 

1.  10.       The  other  two  (T  and  H). 

1.  14.        Om.  either  (T). 

1.  20.        Om,  them  (H);  we  call  in  our  language  (T). 

1.  27.       mary  we  call  (T  and  H). 
p.  66.       1.  2.  Om.  necessarily  (T). 

1.  3.         pleader  (T  and  H). 

1.  5.         if  he  proceed  (T). 

1.  5-7.     we  call  him  appealer.     The  other  (T). 

1.  6.  appealer  or  appealor  (H). 

1.  8.         we  call  him  prisoner  (T). 

1.  11.       Judex  also  (H). 

1.  20.       evil  demeanure  (T). 

1.  25.       ar  deprived  (T);  is  dispoyled  (H). 
p.  67.       1.  14.       for  himselfe  (T  and  H). 

1.  22,  23.     possessore,  to  aske  one  to  keepe  (T). 

1.  27.       call  (T). 

1.  33.        of  the  kings  (T). 
p.  68.     Heading  of  chap.  10.     tribunall  benches  (T). 

1.  5.         straight  after  (T  and  H)  ;  Om.  thing  (T). 

1.  11.       the  Tribunals  (T). 

1.  14.       to  be  hearde  and  pleaded,  especially  (T). 

1.  20.        and  other  men  (T) ;   Om.  called  (T). 

1.  21,  22.      Om.  they  (T);  may  be  called  (T). 
p.  69.       1.  5,  6.     wher  judgment  is  exercised  the  one  (T  and  II). 

1.  7,  8.     and  the  other  in  all  civill  (T  and  H) ;  Om.  then  (T  and  H). 

1.  12.       Om.  no  (H). 

1.  17,  18.     which  was  Justitium  (H) ;  justicia  (T). 

1.  20,  21.     Om.  ten  daies  during  (T) ;   Om.   at  the  least  (T);   from 
[blank  in  MS.]  about  v  or  VI  weeks  (H). 

1.  21,  22.     After  Christmas  from  [blank  in  MS.]  till  about  three  (H) ; 
after  Christmas  till  about  three  (T). 

1.  23,  24.     8  dayes  after  Easter  to  about  xix  or  XX  dayes  (T). 

1.  23-26.     Then  after  easter  from  viii  dayes  after  day  after  Trinity 
Sunday  till  about  three  weeks  more.     All  (H). 

1.  24-26.     Likewise  the  8th  day  after  Trinitie  sunday  till  about  three 
weeks  more.     All  (T). 
p.  70.       1.  4.         pleade  yt  (T  and  H);   Om.  but  unto  that  (T  and  H);  I 
meane  (T). 

1.  10.       with  more  ease  (T). 

1.  16.       of  those  that  (T). 

1.  17.       have  so  much  (T). 

1.  23.       contented  (T). 



p.  70.       1.  15,  26.     attornies  and  sergeantes  [at  the  lawe]  (T  and  H). 

1.  30.       and  those  other  (H);    it  made  (H);  Those  other   by  his 

judgment  is  made  no  (T). 
1.  31.       they  had  (T);  injustice  they  had  (H). 
1.  32.       thus  I  (H). 
p.  71.       1.  1,  2.     aKpifioSucaiov  (H);  aKfu^oSiKas  (?)  (T). 
h  7.         exactions  (T). 
L  8,  9.    dolis  (?)  (T);  Om.  mali  (T). 
1.  13.       ancient  law  (T). 
1.  15.        Om.  wherein  he  is  (T). 

L  15,  16.     hath  this  as  in  the  solemne  forme  (T  and  H). 
1.  16-20.     T  places  "And...appertaine"  within  inverted  commas. 
1.  1 7.       cause  (T). 

1.  23.       constrained  (T);  by  no  rigour  nor  (H). 

1.  26.       usuall  forme  of  pleading  and  properties  (T) ;  usuall  form  of 
pleading  and  proper  (H). 
p.  71.      1.  2.         in  the  law  (T  and  H). 

1.  4,  5.     Om.  two  (T  and  H) ;  exercise,  whereof  two  (T  and  H). 

1.  8.         number  of  [blank  in  MSS.]  (T  and  H). 

1.  9.         These  hath   (H) ;    These  had   (T) ;  one  ordinarilie   for  a 

stypend  (T). 
1.  10.       ins.  the  two,  the  chiefe,  th'  one  to  the  somme  of  [pds.] 
[blank   in  MSS.]  the  other  to  the   som  of  [blank]  the 
rest  [pds.]  [blank]  a  peece  (T  and  H). 
I.  23.        Om.  remaineth  (H) ;  strife  as  a  matter  helde  (T). 
1.  24.       can  issue  out  and  be  voided  (T  and  H). 
1.  27.        Om.  our  (T). 
p.  73-       1-  4-  that  fashion  (T  and  H) ;  which  is  called  (T  and  H). 

1.  5.         demurr  (T);  Om.  where  (T  and  H);  cause  (T). 
1.  6.         to  be  doubtfull  (T) ;  this  is  (T  and  H). 
1.  7.         cause  (T). 

1.  9.         Om.  helde  for  (H) ;  holden  for  (T). 
1.  10.       and  [the]  lande  (T  and  H). 
1.  1 1 .       anie  parte  (T). 
1.  14.       no  more  (T) ;  but  still  (T). 
I.18.        So  that  in  that  case  (T  and  H). 

1.  19,  20.    doubtfull  that  it  is  ended,  that  in  the  answere  (T  and  H). 
1.  21,  22.     triplication  etc  [and  so  forth],  the  matter  is  concluded  in 
the  pleadinge  (if  th'  exception  be  not  vaylable)  the  Judge 
out  of  hand  deciding.     And  (T  and  H). 
1.  22,  23.     must  graunte  (T  and  H). 
1.  28.       former  etc.  (II). 
p-  74-       I-  I,  2.     Om.  or  barre  the  partie  (T  and  H). 
1.  3.         prove  it  (T  and  II). 




p.  74. 

P-  75- 


p.  76. 

P-  77- 

p.  78. 


issue  ;  streighte  all  (H);  and  the  question  (T). 

the  one  or  the  other  (H). 
civill  lawes  manner  (T). 

thear  the  Sergeantes  (T). 
Om.  before  the  Judges  (T). 
Om.  determine  (T). 

Om.  of  the  one  partie  (T). 

either  wonne  (T). 

have  any  (H). 

and  all  the  rest  (H) ;  shall  serve  (T). 

Om.  as  this  (T). 

easye  to  understand  (H). 

peradventure  make  judgment  contrarie  (T  and  H). 

at  large  (T). 
chap.  14.     Om.  court  of  (T  and  H). 
20.       officers  as  [several  lines  left  blank]  (H). 

Reife  or  Baylife  (T);  bailiff  (H). 

uppe  the  accompts  (T);  Om.  the  profittes  of  (H). 

Om.  thinks  (H). 

as  of  other  that  commeth  (T). 

tents,  unzismes  (?),  taxes  (T). 

account  be  they  (T). 

they  have  (T  and  H). 

ratiocinales  (H). 

whereof  one  is  called  (T). 

Tribulus  (T). 

as  we  (T) ;  as  ye  (H). 

declaratores  (H) ;  Om.  part  of  (T  and  H). 

in  the  la  we  (T  and  H). 

after  the  fashion  (T  and  H). 

as  by  (H  and  T) ;  Om.  men  (H). 

publicani  (T  and  H). 
32.     Om.  of  the  commaundementes  (T). 

Om.  for  the  most  part  (T). 

Earls  office  (T). 

mercements  (T) . 
ia.     of  latines  (H)  [blank  in  T];  reliquiae  (T). 

Om.  such  (T). 
15.     respondent  for  the  same  (T) ;  Om.  As  (T  and  H). 

and  for  the  most  part  (T  and  H). 

Other  to  streyne  (H) ;  either  to  strayne  (T). 

to  the  sherif  of  the  shy  re  (T). 

fades  (T) ;    ins.   and  is  in  this  forme  (T  and  H ;    H  also 
leaves  a  space  for  further  insertion). 


9,  10 






















.  2,  3.  distingiias  (T);  Om.  to  the  retume  of  the  sherife  (T  and  H). 

■  3»  4.  Om.  for  (T) ;  appearing  be  (T). 

.  5.  mans  head  (T  and  H). 

.  13.  voideall(H);  depending  of  (T). 

.  23.  Om.  men  (H). 

.  26.  enough  (H). 

.27.  merced  [amersed]  according  to  the  discretion  of  the  judge[s] 
(T  and  H). 

3.  kinde  of  lawefull  triall  (T  and  H). 

.  7.  can  be  (H). 

.  8.  partie  (T  and  H) ;  their  exceptions  (T  and  H). 
,  11,  12.     parte  (T);  If  foure  be  once  allowed  of  both  parties  they 

foure  do  [trye  and]  allowe  (T  and  H). 

.  13.  exceptions  against  them  (T). 

.  17.  of  all  that  (T). 

.  18.  conscience,  when  (T). 

.  3a  Om.  order  and  (T). 

32.        Om.  that  it  is  (T). 
,  4,  5.     Om.  of  the  evidence  (H). 

8.  partye  (H). 

.  15.  verdite  upon  (T  and  H). 

16-18.     of  one  of  [amongst]  them   (T  and   H) ;   all.     When... 
agreed  (for  it... agree)  they  (H). 

21.  narrowly  (T). 
30.  Om.  all  (T). 

1 .  be  names  ( H) ;  be  made  (T). 
3.  manner  of  the  (T). 

7.  shyre :  as  now  (T) ;  Om.  and  although  (H). 

10.  but  those  did  (T  and  H). 

16.  mette  together  in  one  day  at  the  (T). 

24.  weapon  or  weapen  (T  and  H). 

27.  monstere  was  (H). 

2.  Om.  most  (T). 

3.  all  so  (T  and  H). 

4.  somewhear  (T);  hundrethes  have  their  (T) ;  had  (H). 
6-7.  T  places  "such... things"  between  inverted  commas. 
7.  Each  hundred  (T  and  H). 

12.  have  such  (T). 

14-  seem  (T);  38  (T). 

16.  contaynithe  (T) ;  yet  all  (T). 

18,  19.     yeare,  in  the  whole  making  but  a  quarter  of  a  year  (T). 

22.  being  used  (T). 
24.  in  that  sort  (H). 

id.  all  judgementes  (H). 

N  2 



p.  83. 

P.  84. 

p.  85. 

p.  86. 

p.  87. 

4.         likewise  the  baylife  (T) ;  bailiffe  (H). 
.  7.         Om.  or  at  his  pleasure  (T  and  H). 
.  12.       Om.  other  (T). 

.  19.       controversie  among[st]  them  (T  and  H). 
.  20,  21.     can  serve  (T  and  H) ;  for  them  which  can  be  contented 

.  24-26.     parte  so  will  (T);  writte  from  [of]  Westminster  Hall  to 

bringe  it  thither  (T  and  H). 
.  27.       to  be  (H). 

.  28.       summe,  who  to  suche  [a]  quantitie  doth  (T  and  H). 
.  30,  31.     from  them  (H);  who  that  will  may  bring  it  to  (Hand  T). 
.  33.        Om.  the  marches  of  (T  and  H). 
.  1.         at  [blank  in  both  MSS.]. 
.  4.         Om.  yet  if  (H). 
.  7.         Chauncery  (H). 

.  10.       after  the  manner  of  (T) ;  Om.  of  Englande  (T). 
.11.       manner  (T). 
.17.       to  the  men  (H). 
.  18.       Prince  that  ruled  (T  and  H). 
.  19.       Om.  for  (T). 
.  20.       frayers  (H). 

24.        constayned  (T). 

3,  4.     laute  or  lauge  (T) ;  lawte  or  lage  (H) ;  corruptinge  of  (T). 

4.  Om.  and  chaunging   (T) ;    chaunge   (H) ;    from  law   (T) ; 

from  lawte  (H). 
6.         Om.  yet  (T). 
8.         understanded  (H). 
12.       and  the  Barony  and  of  the  knighte  and  (H). 

16.  inhabitinge  (T). 

17.  contrye  (H) ;  highest  (T). 

18.  19.     or  the  most  parte  (H). 

23.  Om.  come  (H). 

24.  learning,  activitie,  or  policie  (T). 
1.  Om.  are  not  (T  and  H). 

6.         30,  40  or  50  (T). 

7-9.     necessarie  to  do  many  things  to  have  many  of  the  Quoium  : 
for  because  the  wordes  (T  and  H). 
1.  9.         nos  (T). 
1.  20.       supposeth  to  be  the  (T). 
1.  28.        uppon  them  (T  and  H). 
1.  31.        Om.  out  (T  and  H). 
1.  1,  2.     Om.  theftes... extortioners  (T). 
1.  3.         all  other  such  (T). 
I.5.         If  any  (T). 


8.  9.  for  any  of  their  [those]  faults  (T  and  H). 

9.  Om.  bil  (T). 
15.  on  the  back  (H). 

18.  ins.     The  manner  of  yt  [of  the  bill]  is  suche.     Inquiratur 
pro  Domino  Rege  [si]  etc.  (T  and  H). 

19.  truth  (T). 

23.  looketh  unto  more  shortly  (T) ;  For  this  first  (H). 

29.  diverse  shyres  (T  and  H). 

6.  ther  is  nothing  determined  thear  (T  and  H). 

14.  in  suspition  (T  and  H). 
22.  Om.  good  (T). 

26.  Om.  be  more  unrulie  (T);  most  calme  (T  and  H). 

29.  popular  sorte  (T) ;  populacie  (H). 

3.  to  take  (T  and  H). 

4.  of  those  articles  (H). 

5.  to  meete  (T  and  H). 
8-29.  T  places  "  There  was... wealth  "  between  inverted  commas. 

8.  in  no  (H). 

15.  and  to  call  (H). 
15,  16.     occasion  clothe  present  two  or  three  (T). 

19.  So  that  this  is  a  (T). 

20.  Om.  good  (T). 

26.  come  to  be  doone  (T  and  II). 

27.  manier  de  arguit  (T). 

Heading  of  chap.  20.     takne  (T);  Om.  may  (T);  can  (H). 

10.  Om.  still  (T). 

13.  14.     The  parish... this  dutie  (T  and  II). 

15.  to  escape  (T  and  H). 

16,  17.     parties  (T) ;  their  (T). 
19.  herein  (T) ;  thereofe  (T) ;  but  also  (H). 

7.  quantitie  (T). 

9.  recognisaunts  (H). 

12.  bodie  thereof  (T). 
25.  he  empallenethe  (T). 

28.  Om.  or  view  (T). 

4.  tolde  you  before  of  the  (T). 

5.  somtyme  to  take  a  day  of  xx  (H) ;  sometime  of  (T). 
7.  Om.  more  (T). 

14.  streightwayes  (T). 

15.  not  as  a  (H). 
25.  saftie  (T). 

10.  or  of  killing  any  man  (T  and  H). 

11.  take  the  (T  and  H). 

13.  hee  finde  cause  (T  and  H) ;  may  keepe  (T). 



P-  93- 

p.  94. 



p.  96.  1. 

p.  97. 

18.  behaviour  [havor]  and  abilitie  (T  and  H). 

23.  Om.  the  Justice  of  peace  (T). 
27.  ydlely  and  suspiciously  (T). 

1.  Om.  Princes  (T). 

2.  Otn.  till  (T). 

12.  betokeneth  is  (T);  yet  knowen  (H). 

13.  Otn.  or  chiefe  (T). 

14.  borowe  or  cheefe  of  the  village  (T). 

16.  "Cunning"  [Conyng]  which  is  Kinge.     "  Cunningstable " 

[Conyngstable]  as  (T  and  H). 

4.  Otn.  also  (T). 

7.  Om.  but  (T). 

8.  Om.  commonly  (T). 
10.  Om.  yet  (T  and  H). 
n.  there  come  (T  and  H). 

12.  any  evidence  (T). 

20.  standinge  at  (T). 

25.  quitt  (H) ;  And  then  be  quitte  (T). 
2-3.  shire  as  they  be  appointed  (T). 

3.  yeare,  and  so  other  to  other  (H). 

5.  up  in  Th'  excheqr  (H) ;  uppon  the  Exchequer  (T). 

6.  meeteth  them  all  (T). 

9.  asketh  for  their  (T);    Om.  for  it  (T);  Exchequer  and  his 

bayliff  (H). 

10.  by  his  baylifes  hath  (T). 

ir.  enquirye  (H);  Om.  of  inquire  (T). 

13.  readely  (T). 

17.  tribunall  seate  of  (T). 

18.  sit  two  or  three  (T) ;  sitteth  the  ii  or  iii  (H). 
21-23.     Om.  according... peace  (T). 

24.  25.     set  alowe  [on  low]  whear  (T  and  H). 

26.  of  the  writtes  of  the  exchequer  (T). 

27.  table  sitte  the  sheriff  of  the  shyre,  behind  that  there  (H). 

28.  Otn.  with  (T  and  H) ;  space  for  the  xn  (T). 

29.  Om.  men  (T  and  H). 

31.  Otn.  by  the  gaoler  (T);  and  chained  (II). 

3.  names,  which  when  (T  and  II). 

4.  forth  with  (T). 

7.  then  the  clarke  (T). 

12.  one  horse  of  suche  an  (T). 

18.  Om.  so  (T);  adjudged  (T). 

21.  can  (T) ;  other  table  (T). 

23.  the  table,  as  therwith  his  bodie  is  (T). 

25.  men  do  (T). 



P.  97. 
P.  98. 




12,  13 

causes  (T). 
before  judged  (T). 
examined  him  (T). 
if  ther  he  (T). 
triall.     After  (T). 

crime,  and,  Thou  (T). 

14,  15.     and  thy  Countrie  (H). 

16.  of  thy  (H). 

17.  against  any  (T  and  H). 

19.  Om.  in  (T) ;  Om.  Juror  (T  and  H). 

20.  CD.  (T). 

n.       upright  (T);  Om.  &c  (T). 
23.       untill  they  (T). 
26,  27.     I  have  said  before  (H). 

29.  to  have  bene  committed  (T  and  H). 

30.  Om.  daily  (H). 

31.  men  (H). 
p.  99.      L  4.         everie  man  (T);  cryinge  (H);  Om.  then  (H). 

4,5.     or  iiii  untill  (T) ;  Om.  of  xii  (T). 
7.         give  any  (H);  any  man  have  any  evidence  (T). 
13,14.     evidence.     Yf  none  come  in  to  geve  evidence  (H). 
16.       hande  and  estimation  yet  (T). 

2.  robbest  (H). 

3.  dist  beate  (T). 

6.  Om.  then  (T  and  H). 

7.  Om.  him  (H). 

L  10.      any  evidence  (T). 

1.  17,  18.    dutie  to  God  and  the  [your]  Prince  (Tand  H);  Ovi.  doe... 
discharge  (T). 

1.  19.       this  sometime  (T). 

L  22.       I  pray  (H). 

1.  24,  25.     Om.  but  (T);  departure  (T);  Om.  in  writing  (T). 

1.  27,  28.     guiltie  to  bringe  in  what  (T). 

1.  29.       Om.  time  of  the  (H). 
p.  101.    1.  5.        that  did  give  (H);  that  gave  (T). 

1.  10.       understanded  (T  and  H). 

1.  14.       sighte  and  presence  (T). 

1.  24.       Om.  some  (T). 

1.  27.       Om.  they  tell  (H). 

1.  29.       they  have  bene  by  (T). 

1.  30.        Om.  though... expedition  (T  and  H). 

1.  33-p.  102,  1.  1.     Then  he  asketh  them  (T) ;  Then  the  Judge  asketh 
p.  102.     1.  5.        Thou  A.  (H). 



p.  102.    1.  6.  A.B.  (T). 

1.  7.  being  thereof  (H) ;  Om.  thereto  (T). 

1.  8.  wilt  (T) ;  woldest  (II). 

1.  9.  sayest  (T)  ;  and  the  (T). 

1.  11,  12.     Thear  he  asketh  of  the  quest  (T). 

I.17.  matter.     If...guiltie,  the  (T). 

1.  18.  person  had  (T). 

1.  22.  enquire  of  the  matter  (T). 

1.  23.  Exchequer  (T). 

1.  37.  Om.  such  (H). 

1.  28.  Om.  be  (H). 

1.  29.  Om.  one  (T);  Om.  in  (T). 

1.  30.  feare  of  lyfe  (T). 

p.  103.     1.  4.  psalm  he  will  (H). 

1.  11.  non  legit  (T). 

1.  13.  A.B.  (T). 

1.  17.  Om.  first  (T). 

1.  25.  Om.  and  is  delivered  (T). 

1.  27.  after  an  other  certaine  (T). 

1.  28.  sett  at  large  (T). 

1.  31.  acquitted  forth  (H). 

p.  104.     1.  1.  Om.  he  (H);  an  occasion  (H). 

1.  3.  but  seldome  (H). 
Heading  of  chap.  24.     ins.  Of  (T). 

1.  9.  Om.  that  will  (T) ;  they  doo.  (T). 

1.  10.  dismembringe  (T). 

1.  13.  Om.  committed  (T). 

I.  15.  engreve(T);  (?)  engreme  (H). 

1.  17.  which  thing  is  very  seldom  seene  (T) ;  murders  (T). 

1.  23,  24.     for  it  is  petit  treason  (T). 

1.  26.  Om.  but  (T  and  H). 

1.  27.  Attempt  (H);  To  attempt  (T). 

p.  105.     1.  1.  poison  (T);  in  wait  (H) ;  laying  wait  (T). 

1.  2.  Om.  yet  (T  and  H). 

1.  5.  Om.  but  (T) ;  As  (H). 

1.6.  all  that  (T);  Om.  and  (T). 

1.  9.  Om.  as  (T) ;  to  torment  (T). 

1.  14.  for  severitie  (T);  For  how  (T). 

1.  15.  Om.  as  a  free  man  (T). 

1.2i.  Om.  him  (H). 

1.  22.  byndeth  him  not  (T). 

1.  26,  27.     Om.  for... torment  (T). 

1.  29.  than  here  (T). 

1.  32.  shall  (T). 



p.  106. 

p.  107. 
p.  108. 

p.  109. 

p.  no. 



































absolve  them  (Tj. 

Om.  to  any  torment  (H). 

ins.  And  this  is  enquired  upon  in  every  fashion.  (II). 

men  do  judge  him  (T). 

Om.  there  is  (T);  Om.  his  countrie  (T  and  H). 
12.    men  of  whome  they  have  agreed  themselves  who  do  [doth] 

fynd  them  worthy  [of]  death  (T  and  H). 
1 4.    themselves  (T  and  H). 

haughty  (T);  haultaine  (H) ;  Om.  but  (T  and  H). 
17.     Om.  and  punishment  (T);  and  so  (T  and  H) 

ould  auncient  (T);  "  legum-latores "  (T). 
24.     manner  [of]  profit  or  commoditie  (T  and  H). 

onely  the  service  (T  and  H). 

is  used  in  Treasons  (T). 

headed  (H);  those  quarters  (T). 

adjudged  (T). 

Om.  Lord  (T). 

in  the  matter  (T);  Om.  it  is  (T). 

Judge  shall  (T). 

deferr  (T  and  H). 

Om.  to  say  to  (T). 

declareth  (H). 

for  as  for  (H);  Om.  and  (T). 

109,  1.  1.     whereby  he  is  (T). 

either  founde  guiltie  or  ungiltie  (T). 

And  if  the  Sherif  shold  deferr  th'  execution  and  the  prisoner 
either  (H). 

Om.  Justices  or  of  the  (T). 

Om.  man  (II);  or  an  other  to  (T). 

Om.  upon  (T  and  H). 

in,  he  escapeth  (T). 

Om.  but  (T  and  II) ;  Queene  that  now  is  (T). 

Om.  one  (T). 

a  large  (T). 

wear  put  to  utter  ignominie  (T). 

doinges  of  very  many  were  accounted  (T). 

Om.  verie  (T). 

Om.  Wherefore  (T  and  H) ;  This  commeth  (T  and  H). 

at  some  time  (T). 

Om.  corruption  and  (T). 

empallened  (T). 

men  seemeth  (T). 

Om.  and  (T  and  H) ;  Om.  as  (T  and  H). 

before  in  (T). 

N  5 



p.  no. 
p.  in. 

p.  112. 

p.  113. 

p.  114. 

28.  judge  (H). 

3.  Om.  that  (T) ;  to  have  gone  (T). 

4.  afore  (T  and  H). 

6.        defamed  (T);  yereday  and  waste  (H);  yeares  waste  (T). 

8.  present  time  (T). 

13,  13.     Om.  and  partie  (T  and  H);  Om.  if...xx.  li.  (T  and  H). 

14.  Om.  because  (H). 

18.  And  the  meane  they  (H). 

19.  as  is  in  them  the  (H). 

20.  Om.  composition  and  (T). 

24.  gladly  (H) ;  the  sentence  of  the  first  enqueste  (T). 

25.  Mary,  if  (T  and  H). 

3.  revoked  afresh  (T) ;  revoked  of  fresh  (H) ;  to  be  disputed  (T); 

to  the  disputee  (H)  [cf.  p.  130,  1.  4]. 
6.        denihillare  (T). 

9.  'processus'  (T). 

17.  Om.  being  (T  and  H). 

19,  20.     Men  they  ar  permitted  (T). 

26.  But  all  these  (T). 

29.  losse  as  evill  (T). 

4.  Om.  man  (T). 

9,  10.     apprehended  and  constitute[d]  prisoner,  not  to  be  outlawed  : 

yet  within  (T  and  H). 
15.      see  execution  of  justice  (T). 

18.  I  will  leave  (T). 

19.  professe  accusation  (T). 

21.       to  the  graunde  assise  (T  and  H) ;  Om.  to  (T). 
25.       Om.  in  person  (T) ;  must  finde  (T). 
1.         &6\r)reis  (H). 
4.         Om.  by  (T). 
6.         Om.  according  (T). 

8.         as  calumniator  (T  and  H) ;  suffer  hanginge  (T);  the  paine  of 
hanginge  (H). 
,  9.         So  that  as  well  as  by  (T  and  H). 

10.  death  to  the  one  or  to  the  other;   mary   this  [is]  more 

(T  and  H). 
,12.       needs  die  (T). 
,  13,  14.     Om.  of  death  (T).     This  triall  is  shorte,  for  by,  from 

morninge  to  nighte  the  quarrell  (T) ;  querrell  (H). 
.17.      a  small  too  do  (II) ;  as  little  to  doe  (T). 
.  25.       reason  (H). 
.  36.       Om.  they  I  say  (H) ;  Philosophic   prevayle,  it  muche  mis- 

lyketh  (T). 
1.  28.      in  many  (T). 



p.  114.     I.  31.       shadowe  of  their  (T). 

1.  32.       Om.  of  triall  (H);  now  beene  used,  for  (T). 
1.  33.       rather  see  (T). 
p.  115.     1.  1.        the  history  of  times  (T). 
L  i«.       enquire  (T). 
1.  15.      convicted  (T). 
1.  17,  18.     be  to  the  lawe  (T). 
1.  21.       Om.  understand  (H). 
!.  22.       in  no  (II). 
p.  116.    1.  9.         images  with  (T). 

I.  12.       by  force  (T  and  II). 

1.  13.       our  nation  (H);  our  forfathers  (T). 

1.  1 4.      to  be  either  (T  and  H). 

1.  15,  16.     or  to  civill  wans  amonge  themselves,  which  (T);  and  to 

much  accustomed  to  civill  warres  within  themselves,  which 

1.  17.       Om.  amongest  (T) ;  where  men  (T);  and  where  men  (H). 
1.  18.       be  plentifull  (T  and  H);  who  when  (T). 
1.  19.       externe  warrs  (T  and  H). 
1.  21.       combatts  amonge  (T  and  H). 
1.  22-25.     themselves  so  much  impacient  of  injury  and  right  [wrong] 

as  they  were  wont  to  do  all  injury  they  cold  by  force 

[coulde  before]  with  prayse  of  manhood  to  their  enemyes. 

Our  nation  [being]  used  (T  and  H). 
1.  26.       therunto  (T). 
1.  32.       retaynewe  (T);  then  at  (T);    Om.  of... riots  (T);  therof  the 

enquirie  at  every  sessions  of  (H). 
h  33-       Sessions  of  Ryots  and  Routs  (T). 
p.  117.     1.  3.         themselves  together  (T). 

1.  4.        [to]  enquire  of  the  Ryot  (T  and  H). 

1.  6.         dealt  with  (T  and  H). 

1.  8.         Om.  Kings  (T). 

1.  14.       Om.  come  (T). 

1.  16.      one  of  (T). 

L  17.       Om.  one  (T  and  H). 

1.  21.       condemned  (T). 

1.  22.       Om.  shall  be  (H). 

1.  23.       lying  (T). 

1.  24.      his  restraint  of  libertie  (T). 

1.  30,  31.     wherof  yt  is  attempted  (T);  wherefore  he  attempted  (H) ; 

violence  remitted  (T  and  H). 
1.  32.       Om.  stoute  (H). 

1.  33-p.  118,  1.  1.     Om.  which.  (T) ;  manner  man  (H). 
p.  118.     1.  5.        chamberlain  (T). 



p.  1 1 8.     1.  6.  to  devise  that  court  (T  and  H). 

1.  ii.  farre  of  from  (H). 

1.  20.  good  remonstrance  (T  and  H). 

1.  21.  being  well  (T  and  H). 
p.  119.     Heading  of  chap.  5.     Courte  (II). 

1.  1.  Englishe  (T). 

1.  4.  warde  or  [an]  orphane  (T  and  H). 

1.  9,  10.     Om.  the  age  of  (T) ;  "  tutores"  and  "  curatores  "  (T). 

1.  10.  countable  (T  and  H). 

1.  11.  Om.  pupils  (T  and  H). 

1.  17.  Om.  for  (H) ;  excuse  them  (T). 

1.  19.  upon  whom  (T  and  H). 

1.  22.  body  of  the  person  (T  and  H). 

1.  25.  disagreement  (T). 

1.  26.  age  xxj  (H) ;  Om.  yeres  (H) ;  fourteen  struck  out  and 
replaced  by  16;  in  margin, — Westmr.  the  first  cap  12 
untill  16  (H). 

1.  29.  esteemed  [by]  the  profite  of  [blank  in  MS.]  yeare  of  (T  and 

p.  120.     1.  3.  of  another  (T  and  H);  for  thear  is  (T). 

1.  4.  kinde  of  wardshipp  which  is  called  (T  and  II). 

1.  5.  ward  in  socage  (T  and  H). 

1.  7.  of  the  kind  (T). 

1.  10.  if  it  discend  (T). 

1.  11.  countable  (T  and  H). 

1.  18.  wardshipp  (T) ;  for  then  she  (H). 

1.  27.  gardians  or  masters  (II). 

1.  28.  but  also  (T) ;  houses  and  lands  (H). 

1.  29.  Om.  to  be  (T). 

p.  121.     1.  1.  so  ill  (T). 

1.  2.  daynties  and  pleasures  (T). 

1.  8.  Om.  naturall  (T). 

1.  11.  other  that  hath  (T). 

1.  15,  16.     doe  seeke  how  they  (T). 

1.  17.  They  all  say  they  (T). 

1.  22.  sister  or  neece  (T). 

1.  29.  to  the  bare  (T  and  H). 

1.  30.  Om.  sue  ouster  le  main  (T) ;  outre  le  maine  (II). 

1.  31.  after  besydes  (T). 

1.  33.  that  his  father  left  him  (T). 

p.  122.     1.  4,  5.  persons  and  gentlemen  (T). 

1.  8.  it  is  descended  (II). 

1.  13.  have  a  noble  man  (T). 

1.  22.  education;  our  common  wealth  was  (T  and  II). 



p.  112.     1.  24.      destinate   (T);    It  was  thought  (T  >nd  H) ;    Om.  Yet  (T 
and  H). 

1.  28.       Om.  finde  and  (T). 

I.28-32.     friendes.     Who... .  service?  (H). 

1.  29.      for  who  (T). 
p.  123.     1.  8,  9.     of  the  matter,  then  an  augmentation  and  that  (T). 

1.  13.       Englande  as  I  havesayed  be  (T). 

1.  14.       vitae  &  (H);  vitae  vel  (T). 

1.  18.       this  have  (H). 

1.  20.       Om.  juelles  (T). 

1.  22.       Lawe  fee  (H) ;  Lawe  and  feode  (T). 

L  24.       She  neither  (H). 

1.  25.  Om.  anie  thing  (T);  her  husbandes  or  hers  (H);  Om.  owne 

1.  26.       Om.  Theirs  no  (T).     Hers  no  (H) ;  things  by  (T). 

L  27.       Om.  as  (T) ;  Om.  aut  (T) ;  servi  or  (H) ;  familiaris  (H). 
p.  124.    1.  7.        applyed  upon  his  buriall  (T);  bequest  that  (T). 

1.  10.       her  children  (T). 

1.  12.       thirde  part  (T). 

L  14.      betwixt  (T  and  H). 

1.15-       But  the  (T);  is  if  (T). 

1.  17,  18.    parenthesis  from  I.  17  placed  after  prescription  (T). 

1.  20.      children  (T). 

1.  21.      such  portions  as  (T) ;  Om.  it  belongeth  unto  (T  and  H). 

1.  22.       Om.  the  Ordinarie  (T  and  H);  Om.  hath  (T  and  H). 

1.  22,  24.  (suche  gravitie  is  dew  to  his  discretion)  for  the  most  (T); 
such  gratuitye  is  due  unto,  according  to  his  discrecion, 
for  the  most  (H). 

1.  25.      by  the  halfe  (T). 

L  27.       in  the[ir]  preachers  (T  and  H). 

1.  30.       that  they  would  (H). 

1.  31.      gayne  or  profit  (T);  that  they  once  (H  and  T);  Om.  so  (T). 

I"  33-      with  certaine  orders  (T). 
p.  125.     1.  9.         Cnaius  (H). 

I.  13.      even  as  (T). 

1.  1 7.      out  of  one  (T) ;  out  of  their  (H). 

1.  21.       Om.  but  Philippe  Smith  (H);  Om.  and...signe  (T). 

1.  22.       Om.  so  (T). 

1.  23.       and  is  called  (T). 

1.  30.       last  husbande  (T). 
p.  126.     1.  1.         we  have  certeine  in  (T) ;  Om.  olde  lawe  and  (H). 

1.  2.         manages  as  (T) ;  memorie  and  vew  or  (T). 

1.  3.         as  given  (T). 

1.  6.        did  but  buy  (T). 



p.  126.     1.  7.  Libripeus  (T);  Libripens  (H). 

1.  8.  "  perfectae  "  (T). 

1.  ix.  Om.  both  (T). 

1.  17,  18.    childe  is  accompted  myne  heire  and  lawefull  (H) ;  lawefull 
chylde  (T). 

1.  22.  Om.  children  (H);  rather  meliores  (H) ;  meliors  (T). 

1.  23.  unlawful!  (T). 

1.  26.  they  legittimate  (H). 

1.  28.  sayed  (T). 

1.  29.  potestate  viri  (II). 

p.  127.     1.  1.  wives  of  Greece  (H);  wives  in  Greece  (T). 

1.  3.  Om.  office  (T). 

1.  8.  wyfe  (T). 

1.  10.  especially  when  they  be  (T). 

1.  11.  Om.  them  (T  and  H). 

1.  14.  executrices  (H). 

I.16.  governaunce  of  their  (H). 

1.  20.  talked  of  [onely]  (T  and  H). 

1.  21.  executrix  (T). 

1.  23,  24.     As  the  manner  is  of  the  (T  and  H) ;  husbande  bringeth 
(T  and  H). 

1.  26.  [n]or  alienate  his  wives  land  (T  and  H). 

1.  27.  during  the  tyme  of  (H). 

1.  30.  the  next  (T  and  H). 

1.  31.  mary  if  (T  and  H). 

1.  33.  userie  of  the  (T). 

p.  128.     1.  4.  bought  with  [his]  monye  (T  and  H). 

1.  6,  7.     Om.  That...landes  (T). 

1.  8.  dower  (T). 

1.  9.  have  any  childe  (H) ;  to  him  (II) ;  unto  them  (T). 

1.  10.  Om.  eldest  (T  and  H) ;  have  none  the  rest  descendethe  (T). 

1.  16.  understanded  (T  and  H). 

1.  17.  is  not  more  (H). 

1.  20,  21.     wife,  themselves,  their  parents,  and  (T). 

1.  22.  strength  wherein  (T). 

1.  29.  other  lands  (T  and  H). 

p.  129.     1.  1.  Om.  other  (H). 

1.  2.  mancipatio  (H). 

1.  3.  Like  (II). 

1.  6.  manner  of  law  (T). 

1.  10.  controllinge  (T  and  H). 

1.  15.  there  is  no  (H);  honour  dieth  (T). 

1.  16.  wholly  (H);  lands  descend  wholly  (T). 

1.  20.  in  his  life  time  (T). 



24,  25.     that  ceremony  (T  and  H). 

26.       Om.  by  (T  and  H) ;  la  we  taketh  place.     If  (T  and  H). 
28.       partition  (T). 

31,  32.     Om.  in. ..and  (T);  yet  that  which  is  called  ganelkinde  or 
Gabel  kinde  (T) ;  gavell  kinge  (H). 

(?)  disputee  (H)  [cf.  p.  140,  1.  12]. 

Om.  which... servi  (T  and  H). 

the  disputee  (H)  [cf.  1.  4]. 

ther  was  other  which  (T). 

bond  men  (T  and  H). 

and  those  (H). 

villains  regardants  (T  and  H);  Om.  immediately  (T  and  H). 

nigri  censiti  (T). 

manor.     Those  in  the  [our]  (T  and  H). 
27.     called  villains  appendants  of  the  manor  (T  and  H). 
















Om.  number  (T). 

Om.  of.. .that  (T) ;  speaking  of  (T). 

the  sortes  (II) ;  these  sortes  (T). 

Om.  in  Englande  (T) ;  used  as  done  (T). 

since  the  (T);  required  (T). 
n,  12.     Om.  which... brethren  (T). 
12.       Christ  we  be  all  "conservi"  (T). 

14,  15.     he  must  (H);  the  rest  acknowledge  (T). 

15,  16.     their  brother,  and  even  as  fitly  termed  a  Christian  (T); 

terme  even  Christian  (H). 

17,  18.     with  me  [?men]  (H) ;  Christ  with  man  (?)  to  have  portion 

in  the  gospell  of  salvation  (T). 

18,  19.     scruple,  long  tyme  ago,  and  by  (T  and  H). 
20.       especially  in  extreme  (T). 

23.       Om.  and  litle  (H). 

25.  all  theirs.     Marie  (T  and  H);  Om.  with  the  (T  and  H). 

26.  Om.  in... by  (T  and  H). 

28.  Churche  (T). 

29.  Churche  (T  and  H);  mannor  (T). 
31.       Om.  at. ..and  (T). 

33.       them  partly  (H) ;  theirs ;  partly  (T). 

4.  Om.  yet  (T  and  H). 

5.  Om.  with  us  (T) ;  in  such  sort  (H). 

8.  to  holde  (T  and  H). 

9.  other  save  that  (H) ;  other  savinge  that  (T). 

10.  would  fleese  (T). 

12.      taile  now  them  (H) ;   do  take  now  and  thenn  and  take  a 
peece  of  mony  of  them  whom  (T). 
1.  15.       chainging  (T) ;  changement  (H). 



1 6.  Om.  gentle  (T). 

17.  Christians  (H). 

18.  Om.  servile  (T). 

20.  [the]  villayns  appendants]  (H  and  T) ;  and  afterwards  (H). 

21.  extinguished  and  finding  (H);  extinguished  that  finding  (T). 

23.  time  of  gentility  (T  and  H). 

24.  Om.  they. ..whole  (T). 

27.  christned  (T) ;  Christomed  (H). 
28,29.     Om.  and  serve... them  (T). 

5.  Om.  part  (T). 

8.  Om.  one  (T). 

12.  Om.  have  (H). 

13.  their  oulde  profetts  did  (T). 

14.  Om.  that  (II);  that  that  Christ  which  was  (T). 

16.  their  heal  the  in  (T). 

20.  it  hath  fructified  (II) ;  fructifying  (T). 

2 1 .  have  brought  (T) ;  humaine  gentlenesse  (T) . 

25.  Om.  in  (H);  serf(H). 

28.  teach  us  (H). 

29.  Barbares  (H). 

30.  serfs  or  (H) ;  slaves  and  (T). 
32.  a  syne  and  fashion  (T). 

1.  villaines  appendants]  (T  and  H). 

1,  2.  ground,  [and]  for  that  service  and  that  (T  and  H). 

7.  Om.  as  (T  and  H). 

12.  This  terme  (H). 

13.  villany  (T). 

15.  Om.  lande  (T). 

17.  upper  grounde  (H). 

19.  20.     Om.  doeth  bring  (H). 

23.  faith  and  confidence  or  (T). 

24.  some  other  service  (T) ;  a  Lorde  (H). 

25.  Om.  againe  (T  and  H). 
30.  capite  (T  and  H). 

32,  33.     he  sweareth  (H). 

1,  2.  Om.  His.. .land  (T). 

2.  father,  if  he  be  within  th'  age  shalbe  his  ward,  and   his 

daughter  if  he  holdeth  the  land  after  the  death  of  the 

father,  shall  be  maried  (H). 

1.  2-4.  father,   yf  he  be  within   age  shall  be  his  warde,  and   his 

daughter  yf  shee  holde  the  lande  (T). 

1.  5.  almosine  (?)  (H) ;  almosy  (T) ;  Om.  cause  and  (H). 

1.  *ro.  foedo  (H) ;  feode  (T). 

1.  14.  save  (T  and  H). 



p.  135.     1.  15.       be  indeed  not  "vere  [veri]  Domini"  (T  and  II);  Om.  but 
rather  (T). 

24.  Om.  was  (T) ;  in  fide  (H). 

25.  or  in  feaf :  (T). 

26.  27.     Lawyer  (II);  Om.  make  (H);  Om.  a  (T);  words  (T). 
30.       fief,  feoff,  or  fioffees  and  feoffers  (II) ;  fef,  feaf,  or  feoffes  (T). 

.  3.         no.  [blank  in  MS.]  (II);  vetitum  namium  (ed.  1584);  veti- 

tum,  mary  (T). 
.  3,  4.     when  it  is  in  plaine  [in  oulde]  duche  and  our  (T  and  H). 
.  5.        yther  nempte  (II) ;  vither-nempte  iterum  accipere  (T). 
.  7.         taketh  (H). 
.  9.         carieth  (H). 
.  10.      order  of  tyme  (T). 
.  17.      of  them  bothe  (T). 
.  1 8.       toume  thither  from  (T). 
.  19.       parties  be  free  (T). 
.  28.      bound  (H). 
.  29.       thereof.     This  is  (T  and  H). 
.  33.       betwixt  (T  and  H). 

6.  is  but  by  (II) ;  is  but  for  (T). 

7.  a  time.    For  the  time  (H) ;  Om.  and... time  (T). 
16.      meete.     He  is  (H);  masters  findinge  (T). 

19.  Om.  for  (T  and  H);  Om.  or  x  (T). 

20.  yeres,  some  x  or  xii  yeares  (T). 

21.  Om.  shall. ..or  (T  and  H). 

22.  noteth  (T) ;  hath  well  noted  (H). 
24,  25.     Om.  neither  yet  doeth  (T  and  H);  and  the  worde  dothe 

[not]  betokne  it  [that]  as  Polidor  dothe  suppose  (T  and 

30.       as  one  (T). 
3.         Om.  upon  (T  and  H). 
7.         hired  by  the  yeare  (H). 
9.        all  the  whole  (T). 
12.       Om.  and  be  (T  and  H). 
16.       must  not  (T). 

18.  depart  out  of  his  service  (T  and  H). 

19.  expyred  (T). 
21.       Om.  unmaried  (T). 

3.  himselfe  (T). 

4.  Om.  spoken  (T). 
6.        him  selfe  (T). 
15.       "servi"(T);  service  (H). 
18.       one  fashion  and  some  [after  an]  other  (T  and  H). 

Heading  of  chap.  9.     bookes  (T  and  H). 













themselves  (T). 

still :  that  (T  and  H) ;  Om.  of  (H) ;  newe  and  (T  and  H) ; 

Om.  those... keeping  (T  and  H). 
conscience,  that  they  shoulde  be  kept  and  ordered  as  they 

weare  before  in  paganisme:  they  committed  (T). 
as  [such]  things  whearof  (T  and  H). 
skill  of  the  disputee  (H)  [cf.  p.  130,  1.  4,  12];  skill  to  dispute 

of  (l>. 

rather  canon  (H) ;  rather  com  :  (T) ;  contestatorum  (T). 
24.     Om.  in  the  common  lawe  (T  and  H). 
la  we,  or  if  I  (T  and  H). 
possessor  as  "  Intestator"  (T). 
oweth  (T) ;  owed  (H). 
praemunier  (T). 
proctor  and  assessor  or  whoso  (T). 

10,  11.     Om.  of  the  realme  (T). 





praemuniri  for  (T) ;  Om.  because  that  (T  and  H). 

holde  (T);  hathe  helde  (H). 

define  yt  (T). 

forum  (T  and  H). 

divers  from  (T  and  H). 

Om.  is  (T  and  H). 

regis  and  (T);  Om.  Yet  (T  and  H);  I  speake  of  this  last 

although  at  this  present  (T  and  H). 
other  (H) ;  the  other  (T) ;  Om.  force  (T). 
Om.  forren  (T). 
Om.  indeede  (T  and  H) ;  Om.  nowe  (T  and  H). 

Between  lines  3  and  4,  H  inserts  a  heading:  Cap :  10.     Epilogus. 

4.  carte  (T). 

5.  termeth  iv  tottw  (T). 

11,  12.     Romanes  which  Justinian  hathe  compyled  (T  and  H). 

14.  of  Persees  (H);  Om.  of  Persia  (T);  nor  our  (H). 

15.  Om.  being  (T  and  H). 

16.  Om.  never  (T);  imaginations,  and  phantased  (T). 
19.       Om.  Anno  (T);  ins.  Dm  (H). 

22.       in  the  51  (H). 

27.  write  (H) ;  Om.  easie  (T) ;  easily  (H). 

28,  29.     the  eies  (T) ;  the  handes  (T) ;  Om.  as  (T) ;  Om.  project 

or  (T). 
4.         Om.  in  (T). 
10.       Om.  better  (T). 






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